For Ella and Peter it was the end of the desert part of their trip. It will be the begin of ours. Our initial contact with traveling outside the beaten paths. First stage, 301 km, by bus if possible, if not through shared taxi. What to see in this part of the trip: Towards South, at 50 km the Kunlun Range, that form the South border of the Taklamakan. The peaks in the area between Hotan and Keriya are 7 and 6.000 meters high.
Let us talk about bus travel. If you do searches in Internet about bus travel you will find a lot of horrible accidents. Of course, there are bus accidents, as there are plane accidents, and all of them are quite picturesque. So, they generate a lot of pictures. Traveling by road in China is, of course more dangerous than traveling by train or by plane, but it is not like a death penalty. We will (probably 🙂 ) survive to accidents, although surviving to 50 chinese fellow travelers may seem some times difficult. So, we will start light, with a 300 Km first stage, from Hotan to Keriya and one day stop in Keriya afterwards. Really there is not a lot to see in Keriya (Lonely Planet remains silent about it). There is a mosque, and the typical (I imagine dusty) life of a small oasis city on the fringes of the desert.
This stop will be to discuss, to analyze, to reset expectations eventually.
This part of the trip (or probably the whole trip) is about countrysides, desert life, and people more than about cities, or going to places
This is what I expect to see on the right side of the road:
and this on the left side
and this in front
but of course, I do not know if visibility through the windows of and old chinese bus will be enough, if we will not be to tired to do anything other than to sleep… so many questions, so few answers!
Link to: Trip Itinerary Part I
Photo Credits: From the Internet
Featured photo: Kumlun Range from above with the Taklamakan
Mosque in Keriya
Kumlun range from the distance (although probably we will be farther away)
Again, Kumlun Range
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