View From Here To There By Bicycle in a larger map
View From Here to There By Bicycle in a larger map

Arriveing to Kashgar the furthest western city in China, I was expecting Pokemon games the latest in state of the art modern technology and modern architecture, yet there was a difference, things felt like a lot more old style China than the modern flashing lights of a bustling city, Kashgar was a nice place to arrive to after cycling through the more isolated area of Kyrgystan, there was a bustling food market each night not far from where I was staying, selling everything from sheeps heads to fried fish, I took a taste to the dumplings being made they were made in a light dough mixed with finely chopped spring onions and mince meat,
The west and southern Western area of China is mainly populated by Urghuyr people, they`re a population of people who are looking for an independence to China, they have a more Mongolian and Kyrgz look about them.

Setting off from Kashgar the decision was on to decide what route to take, the north Silk road or the southern Silk road, on my mind was always to take the southern route to hopefully catch a glimpse of the Hymalayas, once I arrived to China and had a good look at the map the northern route looked easier in the way of being more populated with the opportunity to readily pick up supplies along the way, plus it was a shorter distance from there to Korla, the city where I was planning to renew my visa to give time to finish in Beijing, but the optimasi took over, with the thinking i`ve cycled this far, why take the easy route now.
One morning after waking up where the temperature had dropped into the -20`s, on first light I gathered everything together from the wooded area and cycled down the road to a small unmodernised village, nipping into a cafe to get warm and have some food, myself and 6 other guys all wearing uyguhur style hats huddled round a log burner in the dusty cafe.. silence, nobody saying a word, then all of a sudden, Michael Jacksons Beat It began playing... Shouting Michael Jackson..Michael Jackson, Beat It !!..which earned a silent stare from everyone huddled round.

On the Southern Silk road there was vast 100 mile stretches of road with nothing inbetween but snow covered desert, which I started to feel was quite theraputic to cycle on, with the Ipod playing and not a great deal of traffic going by, for some reason my left foot was getting colder than the right, I put it down to being more exposed to the open road, arriving to Ruoqiang my foot was becoming harder to walk on and my big toe had turned a bruised color with frostbite, the ride was looking at coming to an end, I arrived to korla to give my foot time to rest and give time to get the visa extended for another 30 days, spending 5 days defrosting my toe in hot water, I made the decision to renew my visa and press on to hopefully finish in Beijing, Thursday came round I went down to the local PSB office handed the lady my passport, the lady  looked at the passpot didn`t say anything , placed my passport to oneside and called for the head guy from the office nextdoor, he was a kind chap, spoke in broken English, he said it`s not possible to extend your visa, we have given you business F type visa instead of tourist L visa by mistake, the only way of obtaining new visa he suggested was to go to the nearest country Pakistan and apply for a new visa then come back, which I explained was`nt the best option for me so the decision from there was to fly out back home from Urumqi, 7580 miles later.

The ride from start to finish has been absolutley amazing, words just to type are hard to explain, the scenery, the people, the culture, the hospitality in every country, truely amazing.

A massive Thanks to everyone for donating and supporting to International Childcare Trust ,


R: )

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