Wednesday, 14 July 2010

An Unexpected Meeting

Sunday June 6th
An unexpected encounter yesterday when two foreign cyclists suddenly appeared on the quiet side road we were riding along - Darren from Gloucester and Tati from from Denmark who are cycling round the world. The first laowai (apart from Rowena and Valerie) I have seen since Dunhuang, and the first Brit I have met 'on the road' while in China, so it was a welcome opportunity for a chat.

In spite of the hot weather, we have been making good progress, partly by setting off at daybreak to beat the worst of the heat. Today we must have covered about 60kms again, a very tiring long plod, but it has got us across a waterless desert area and within striking distance of Lake Sayram. But we were set up for the day when we were waylaid in the morning by friendly Uighurs celebrating a Muslim festival, which necessitated their pressing a huge plate of pilaff on us.
The long uphill track to Sitai - Valerie is still striding ahead.

But this was the welcome sight that greeted us when we eventually plodded into Sitai, an old stop on the northern Silk route, now semi abandoned due to the new expressway which siphons traffic past within sight of the restaurant.

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