I've left the russian influenced zone of central asia and am now finally in a complete new World: China!
This really is a whole new chapter in my travels, it feels so crazy to be here. Crossing the boarder was very exciting and we kept telling ourself "We're in China, we're in China!!!". We, that was a french couple, Marie-Eve and Ludovic (www.cyclopaysans.ouvaton.org), and the dutch girl Miriam (www.cyclingdutchgirl.waarbenjij.nu), that cycled all the way from Europe. I met them on the boarder and kept riding with them all the way to Kashgar.
I turns out that Miriam also wants to do the Tibet run, so we've decided to try it together. Two in the tent might just give us the valuable extra degrees needed to live through the cold nights. Down to minus 25 said a well informed guide here in Kashgar...
But getting to China turned out not to be all that easy as when I was only 60km from the boarder I got to know of a 10 day boarder closure. I had already spent two days and cold nights on the long a hard road to the boarder, but didn't want to spend another 5, so I went back with a truck to Osh.
Once again I stayed with Muhamasali, fixing the equipment and my body.
In this moment I sit in the Internetcafe in my hotel (Seman hotel) and only have half an hour left before we depart towards Tibet. We want to do 100km today, which should be easy because the first 250km are in the flat Taklamakan desert. Anyway, I will very shortly describe some of the recent events:
On the road to Irkeshtam (the chinese boarder) I met 4 Scotts cycling for a charity action from Edinburgh to Everest basecamp. (www.edinburghtoeverest.com). They have it a bit easier though, since they take turns cycling. Only one is on the bike while the rest drives the support vehicle with lots of equipment. I camped with them for the night, enjoying good food and pancakes in the morning.
The next day I tried to cycle together with Shamus, but with my 15kg+ luggage I could not follow him up the next pass. So I cycled mostly alone with very alternating emotions. Fantastic countryside, but physical exhaustion, combined with sometimes annoying kids, that threw stones. Once a little 5 year old want to shake my hand, I was too lazy to clap his hand, so he held on to my handlebars until I crashed. Fuck, I was angry - the little bugger thought I will kill him an started to cry. So I got my composure back told him more calmly that he was stupid and carried on.
Finally we stayed six days in Kashgar to do a lot of shopping for additional clothes (second sleeping bag, down jacket, warm pants and shoes) and FOOD! Since there wont be many towns to seriously restock supplies until Ali, in about 1300km, or three weeks, we stocked up big time on rice, pasta, nuts and fruits and of course chocolate.
Ok, it's time to go, hopefully I can fit it all on the bike. Luckily I could buy two good Ortlieb-Bags for the front. They are bloody heavy with all the food. Lets see how I get them up the passes. The first one is in 3 days, only three thousand something meters, then comes 4000 and sometime later this week will a 5200m pass.
Whooooohaaaaaw......... cu, Andi
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