claire and david’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 09 Oct 2010

Location: turpan, China

Mapwe are now in turpan after a train trip of 16 hours. I never want to see a train again!
Since our last entry we have been on a loop of the silk road travelling from Kashgar.
Kashgar was interesting especially the livestock market. David had a shave at the market and now is the height of fashion – muslim style! The guy was going to shave his mustache off but I saved most of it! I also had the best meat pastries that I have tasted straight from the oven.
We then travelled from kashgar through some of the most spectacular country. Red cliffs and green rocks on the bottom of the river. In summer the river runs red due to the red clay being washed down so its called ….The red river!
At the end of the day we arrived at OYtag. We then walked up a fairly steep slope to the top of the hill to see a glacier. It was for me pretty hard going as we were at 3200 metres . The glacier was worth the walk. There is a photo of David down on the glacier in the pictures.
The next day we went to the Karakool lake , which is absolutely breathtaking,both in views and lack of oxygen! It is at the highest altitude -3600metres- of anywhere we stopped and it was difficult at times to get your breath. The lake is surrounded by snow covered peaks and we had a perfect day. The lake was calm and the mountains could be seen reflected in the lake itself.
From there we travelled to Tashkurgan which is the furthest place on the silk road in china. The town is only 120 km from Pakistan. Again the views of the mountains was spectacular.
Then back to Kashgar for the first of 2 long train trips. The first to Kuche which took about 8.5 hours. We arrived at the best hotel we have stayed at (more about the hotels later) at about 11.3o pm. Then last night we went from Kuche to Turpan…….16.5 hours. This was followed by a 1.5 hour bus ride to the hotel.
Never again! Sensible people fly!