Sunday, April 24, 2011

CHINA #1 - Xinjiang (Urumqi-Korgas)

April 7-13  
736kms   7 days riding 
4050m elevation gain
Odometer: 736kms

(more text to come....)

Tien Shan (or Celestial Mountains) from the air, on the approach into Urumqi airport

Snowstorm blankets all of Xinjiang just before my departure. Late and unseasonal, even the zebras were caught out!

Next morning a diehard Chinese swimmer braves the icy waters at the pool.

Setting off on the first day out of Urumqi- the Chinese map showing a confusing maze. And the odometer is sitting on 0.0. Only 15,000 kms or so to go.........

Pollution and climate change in Xinjiang. All along the northern highway (G30) coal power stations and factories belching smoke and staining the rivers. I was riding alongside the Boro Horo range (an extension of the Tien Shan) but only got glimpses through the smog and haze.

I found a well-hidden and protected campsite in an old abandoned settlement.
All over Xinjiang (& China) there is a constant migration from the countryside to the urban areas. Farmers are leaving the infertile and unproductive land to become fringe dwellers of the booming cities. Much of the land along this stretch has become barren and saline.

Lake Sayram  2160m

Campsite by the frozen shores of Lake Sayram

Bactrian camel in the shadow of the Tien Shan (Boro Horo Shan)

Boro Horo range and the descent into a canyon.

Suggestions for cyclists
(still to come....)

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