Friday, 23 November 2012

China: Irkeshtam-Pass to Kashgar

first checkpoint in China at Irkeshtam. Philip from Belgium came to the officer and behaved himself very unfriendly. First bad impression of this guy. 2 km later a new border control. x-ray of all bags. very friendly officers. we met Lukas, Sonja and Yvonne from Bonn on the way to KGZ. their bikes were on a coal truck. due to the story of lost bikes from Dan and Sam from NZL and now this story we expected a bad scenario for our equipment. it was too late to go on a truck , so one of the officers allowed us to camp on the border ground. with Anna from Russia we build our tents in a sideway and cooked some rice. this part of the first part of the border was an exchange between China and KGZ. many left houses and shops and very nasty. People who are living there belong to the Uyghurs. most Chinese belong to the Han-Chinese.

during the night I felt ill, stomach problems. a really bad night , barking dogs, trucks, a drunken man, who was angry about our tents. we got up at 8, packed our stuff and went to the meeting point outside of the immigration office. we had to wait again. some truckers watched our bikes and one of them, Ibrahim, contacted us with a pretty good English.he was a tour guide in Kashgar and he offered us to take us in his 55- tons-truck. well, this would be great! I contacted "our" immigration officer and he agreed. we had to wait for another half an hour but it was no problem. outside very cold but inside a oven;-) Philip was there too and his behaviour was very rude. I really do not want to see this idiot again. then we had to hurry : Ibrahim's truck arrived and we had to load our stuff. 5 h gravelled road :-( since Aug 26 2012 cycling or walking is not allowed anymore on this road and we understand this decision of the Chinese Government. minimum 200 of 40 till 55-tons trucks on a very narrow road. too dangerous!! and if it would be possible to cycle there you would eat dust the whole way. in the later afternoon we arrived at the last border control in Wuqui: we had to open all bags and to explain the things. Astrid has to delete two photos from her camera. LP (Lonely Planet) map China without Taiwan! Taiwan declared itself as a sovereign state, but China does not accept this. a longlasting conflict. the staff was very friendly. after one and a half hour we camped on a field . groggy!!

wake up with sun shine at 9. crowded road with trucks . . 8 km uphill with 6% and Toba now 6000 km by bike ! there were small shops with delicious food ... chicken wings , banana chips, peanuts, cookies.... so yummy!! then downhill from 1915 m to 1589 m. in a smaller village we asked in a sideway some pedestrians for the possibility to camp or a guesthouse. we showed our "point it" dictionary, only some discussions , there should no possibility to camp.. no invitation, although the backyards of the houses would have enough space to build a tent. people were more interested in the dictionary than in us. it was late. against the advice of the people not to cycle further downhill we found a camp site close to the river. quite and hidden. thanks a lot for your hospitality :-(

first campsite in China, 1 km behind the border

on the road to Kashgar

after 12 days of tough cycling without any possibility to wash ourselves or to shave my beard ;-)

camping inside the 1.border

on the "highway" .... too narrow and too dangerous for cycling or walking

Sonja,Yvonne and Lukas from Bonn

on the "highway"...

yeah !!!!

Anna from Russia, camping with us inside the border

new fans ;-)

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