Towards Xinjiang

Posted by Krista
Osh, Kyrgyzstan

China has seemed so elusive, so far away for so long, and yet now its snow-capped peaks are beckoning us, inviting us, challenging us. These grand mountains bring tears to my eyes – their presence and strength remind me of my own eternal nature.

From Osh, a road winds its way into the Alay Mountain range. We’re gonna follow it for some 250 kilometres, crossing three high passes, to reach Irkeshtam, the border with China.

I’m a bit nervous cos we’ve met a stack of other cyclists here who’ve reported that this particular road is the worst they’ve ever ridden. Its whole length is currently under construction, and by all accounts, apart from the first smooth and tarmacked 60kms, it’s rubble, mud, diggers, sand and gravel all the way to China.

I hope my bike will last until we reach Kashgar. It’s creaking and groaning from within the front hub and the gears have some unsolved problems that elude even Dan. And neither of us know how we’ll deal with the altitude yet – the Taldyk Pass is at 3615 metres – and is the highest we’ve been on bikes.

But, one pedal at a time, and I’m sure we’ll get there.

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