Thursday, September 4, 2014

love yurts....

We were quite concerned how the crossing from China to Kyrgyzstan would go as we had heard reports of a myriad different problems occurring at the top of Torugart Pass (3,752m) the most common being the border guards close the border for two hours from 11.30 – 13.30 for lunch!

This was a problem because the first border control was 60 kms outside Kashgar and they didn't open until 09.30 which didn't give you time to get to the crossing point in time before they closed for lunch.

Our driver gave it a damn good try and if it wasn't for the fact that this particular week was the same one the shepherds chose to bring their sheep down from the mountains using the main road, we would have made it.

As it was,we were 15 minutes late and there was our Kyrgyz driver standing on the other side of the locked gate.

But a bit of sweet talking by our guide managed to cajole a guard away from his noodles and chicken feet to come down and unpadlock the gate.

The drive from thereon in was really wonderful, with an amazing array of landscapes which made for an enjoyable couple of hours.

As we left the main road for the 17 km. drive to Tash Rabat the weather turned a little unpleasant and rain turned to hail briefly before clearing to give us a relatively sunny late afternoon to explore the valley.

Evening was spent in a yurt and as the sun set our cow poo stove was lit for us. But within an hour we were roasting from the heat and I had to run down to the river to collect a bucket of water to throw on the stove.

Then we spent the rest of the night shivering under our Doonas...

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