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Xinjiang province  -  Days 41 to 46

After a day off in Turpan I  have been riding non-stop for 5 days via Toksun,  Kumus, Hoxud, Korla, Luntai from where I have arrived in Kuqa tonight. The area is quite empty, the road goes through vaste dry and desert regions and still very much windy. I am struggling every afternoon against the wind and try to make my way until my next destination despite a very low speed, ranging from 12 to 14 km/h to 23/25 km/h maximum, quite irritating!

 

A local mosk in Turpan.

 

Emin minaret in Turpan.

 

Emin minaret in Turpan.

 

An other wall painting, local Xinjiang peoples are greeting the arrival of an aircraft coming from Beijing. On the left side the man in the middle tells what he saw in Beijing, the capital city of the mother land: Tian An Men square etc (in the back ground).

 

Siesta time in my Turpan hotel room.

 

Leaving Turpan I started my ride on the local provincial road to make a short cut on the G312 which I will no longer ride, going towards Toksun.

 

The altitude is negative, thus below sea level.

 

The way up to Argaybulak Pass.

 

The way up to Argaybulak Pass.

 

This is the position of the french phoenix challenging the winds and the slopes of Xinjiang province. No fear! On that day I did 161 kms, started at altitude -20 meters and did the pass at 1750 meters...and slept like a baby.

 

 

The lunar peaks of the Qoltag Range.

 

The main street of Kumux where I spent the night in a family "Luguan" for "small hotel".

 

 

A mini Xinjiang tornado, a few hundreds meters on my side.

 

Endless straight lines....they look nice but they are very boring to cycle.

 

On the way to Luntai.

 

This was in a petrole station, I think for "Unredncible" they actually meant "Non recyclable" waste should be placed here.

 

The arrival on Korla, there was a little something of the "big american city highway arrival kind of thing" with the bridge over the hill.....Ok, I said just "a little something".

 

With the pink shirt this is Qian Papa, the father of my good friends Pascal and Olivier Qian and the father in law of my friend Daisy Zhang whom got married with Olivier. They all live in Shanghai but Qian Papa and Qian Mama are based in Wulumuqi where is the main residence of the family. Qian Papa often is in Korla for work reasons, he took great care of me, offered me the night in a nice hotel and invited me to a high-end restaurant from where I got back to my room totally wasted due to too much beer, red wine and rice achool.

 

 

Early morning in Korla.The building on the foreground is the site of Communist Party, more commonly called the "Party's buidling".

 

An other cute mini Xinjiang tornado on the road side...and happy not to embrace it!

 

The brave Xinjiang man and his wife and friend. At 5 pm on monday they passed me on the highway and stopped their van 300 meters ahead. He told me "Stop your useless struggle against the damned wind and move your ass into my van, I'll take you to Luntai!". Well, he spoke Ouigur language to me and I guess that's what he meant since he was very determined! I smile on the pic but I was super exausted and happy to cover the last 80 kms to Luntai in his vehicule.

 

Children on their way to school in Luntai, 9 am around - Beijing time!

 

They passed me on the high-way, they come from Sichuan and they are what I would call a "min gong ren couple". They are both basic workers, they left Sichuan because they are too many peoples looking for jobs therefor wages are'nt high enough. They decided to try their luck in Xinjiang. They had travelled 4,000 kms and left their village 6 days earlier. We shared a cigarette and had a short talk, I did not take note of their names and didn't dare asking if they already had a child. They were both super cool and friendly.

 

The view from my hotel room in Kuqa, the foreground is civilized and the background a lot more wild!

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