We officially reached the Silk Road a few days ago. I was dreading riding along what I assumed would be a road teeming with heavy lorries, if no longer with camel caravans, which in fact would have caused our modern horses far more worry! But in fact it is not too bad as the new expressway takes the bulk of the traffic – the old road is mainly restricted to local traffic, and there has also been a sandy shoulder for much of the way. The weather is getting much more pleasant - cool, sunny and breezy - and the leaves on the poplars lining the road are starting to turn golden. We caught our first tantalising glimpse of the snow capped Qilian mountains far away to the south, though they have now disappeared behind another nearer rugged range of hills.
The photo shows Hua and Shandan by a kilometre post – now showing the distance from Shanghai along the Silk road.