Monday, 12 July 2010

Beating the Heat

Friday June 4th
If you can just see the the speck in the irrigation canal below, it is a local youth who has come up with an novel new sport for the sweltering weather .....
..... surfing the chilly water rushing from the snowy peaks above.
We have been sleeping out of doors on more than one occasion, once by another Uighur restaurant. Here is the chef giving a manicure to a dead chicken - apparently chicken claws are one of the few animal body parts not on the local menu. Just about everything else is.

I was able to comandeer a bit of child labour to pump up my air bed.

We have covered quite a bit of ground, yesterday riding sixty kilometres from the rather dismal backwater of Tuotuo across the desert to the pleasant market town of Jinghe. Here I am beneath a tamarisk mound .......

....whileValerie sticks to Shank's pony. She is a trmendous walker and I sometimes wonder if she is taking part in the Long Horse Lead! Note the barriers to keep the track clear of drifting sand. Jinghe is over the hills on the horizon.

Niyaz found us a very comfortable hotel here in Jinghe - a good excuse for a day off, especially in view of the fact that the horses already need re-shoeing again, and there is a farrier in town. The traditional shoes that were put on in Jimsar a couple of weeks ago (which should have lasted until the border) have not lasted the course, and Zorbee lost a shoe shortly after leaving Kuytun. He has to travel on the truck while we searched vainly for a farrier - a worry when there is no Peng Wenchao with his rubber shoeing kit to fall back on.

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