The Karakoram Highway to Karakol Lake

Karakol lake (China), 22.06.2013

Anxious to start our discovery of the Karakoram Highway we woke up on time, packed our bags and tried the breakfast in the former Russian consulate to Kashgar. Boiled egg, toast with jam, soy beans, noodles, steamed vegetables, undrinkable coffee. As agreed with our guide at 10:00 we were putting our last things into the car, closed the rooftop rack cover over the camping equipment, spare wheel and chairs and were ready to go. No sign of our guide, probably we got some payback for our late arrival at the border. At some point we decided to leave without him, there was no point in waiting and no added value by having him with us. As we were driving out of the parking area a young Chinese guy that had been staring at us for a while stopped us, pointing towards another building, from where our guide came running. Continue reading “The Karakoram Highway to Karakol Lake”

Kashgar

Kashgar (China), 21.06.2013

We would have loved to tell you about this city, that is so different then the previous we have seen. But we ended up seeing very little of it. Waking up this morning costed a lot of energy, our stomachs hurt and we felt both a strong fatigue. At 09:00 we went for breakfast in the old Russian consulate to Kashgar of the 19th century. The building was a surprise in our shabby hotel’s courtyard. High ceilings with wooden decorations, a huge wall painting in what today is a big dining room and plenty of wall decorations in every room. Unfortunately there was no breakfast. It was 11:00 Beijing time, and not 09:00 unofficial Uighur time. Snickers and green tea had to do. Checking the car we found it had not recovered from yesterday’s problems and still showed error messages and ran on reduced power. So we started to find a solution, looking for a garage in town that could help. At the business center of our hotel we found a friendly man that helped, Abdul Wabab. He runs a travel agency and organizes tours in Xinjiang, China’s far west. With a few phone calls he found a dependence of the Land Rover dealer in Urumqi, 1500km from here and the closes one in China. Continue reading “Kashgar”

China

Kashgar (China), 20.06.2013

Minus two degrees indicated the car when we opened it this morning. We had to break the ice off the zip of the tent and car window. Fortunately the engine started without problems and we heated water and made coffee while we admired the valley in front of us in the day’s first light. The night had been freezing cold, and the altitude caused slight headaches and breaking problems. Not easy to start the day at 05:30. But we needed to get to the Chinese border ASAP, and it was still quite a long way. It took us two hours to get ready, and we started to speed up only once the sun appeared over the hill behind our tent. The sun changes everything in the morning, its heat gives you strength and warmth after the freezing night. Continue reading “China”

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