The trip on my life (after visiting 56 countries and counting) starts in Mid-May: The South Branch of the Silk Road, the one that Ella Maillart and Peter Fleming selected, in 1935 to return back home from Beijing because it was less traveled than the North Branch, through the Hexi Corridor, and Urumqi. Both branches split in Qinhai Lake, and join again in Kashgar.
So, have passport, got visa, will travel.
By the way, we are three people who do the trip together (each one of us organise his/her own trip, we simply share transportation and experiences and, of course, if needed, we help each other). We are a group of free people traveling freely together. Each of us got its own reservations, so, we do not even share the hotels, at least at the beginning of the trip. There is no fee to pay, if you dream about the Takla Makan, the Silk Road, you like open spaces, and a little adventure… simply meet us in Kashgar on May, 17!
This is the trip: Xinjiang (Takla Makan desert, and the less travelled South Branch of the Silk Road) on the left of the map, and Qinhai on the right side. The Xinjiang is Uygur (Chinese of Middle East origin), and the Qinghai is Mongol
Trip is from West to East (reasons are explained on the blog), it starts in Kashgar on May, 17 and finishes in Xining, on June 6, three thrilling weeks. So, if you are in Kashgar in May, and you are bored… then join us, it will be fun (by the way, you will find a contact form in the blog).
Dates in Xinjiang are:
Arrival to Kashgar on Wednesday 16
2 nights in Kashgar, Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17
Sunday market in Hotan in a must, so, we may do a stopover in Yarkan for the night of Friday 19. Yarkan is not very interesting (at least, this is my interpretation of the LP guide), but it is the departure city to cross the Himalayas.
This leaves Friday 18 Kashi -> Yarkan
Night in Yarkan
Friday 19 Yarkan -> Hotan
3 Nights in Hotan: Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21
Then, my idea is to travel to Qiemo to arrive there on Sunday 28, sleeping in the oasis cities of Keriya and Niya, doing more or less the following stages
Monday 22 Hotan -> Keriya 150 km (if possible I would like to follow a parallel route through Chaka, but possibly it will be too complicated, moreover, Police may start to ask questions, we’ll see)
2 nights in Keriya , Monday 22 and Tuesday 23
Wednesday 24 Keriya -> Niya 150 km
2 nights in Niya, Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25
Friday 26 Niya -> Qiemo 330 km
2 nights in Qiemo, Friday 26 and Saturday 27
Sunday 28 Qiemo -> Ruoqiang 351 km. I would like to do it in two stages, and if possible outside the main road (what I have labelled “desert tour” 🙂 .
So, this would be
1 night somewhere in the desert : Sunday 28
another night : Monday 29
Arrival Ruoqiang Tuesday 30
2 nights Ruoqiang: Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31
And the path in the Xingjiang is
In the Qinhai we would like to avoid Golmud, and going directly to Delingha, but we may have problems in Delingha which is the center for nuclear development so, once there we will see if we can reach Delingha by bus or we will go to Golmud, and from there, by train (it is on the line Beijing-Lhassa) reaching the shores of the Qinhai Lake, the mythical Kuku Nor
Path in Qinghai is:
Well, I left the subject of toilets in China, but I promise to go back to it (theoretically), before actually going there, using them and (hopefully) being able to talk about afterwards.
Good luck Carlos and rest of the group! Please let us know if you feel more Mongol or Uygur once you are there 🙂
Looking forward for news about the expedition, what a great adventure!
Thanks! I will try to get everybody posted about the differences between what I expected, and what I actually found. But, first question that I do have.. will the Chinese internet provider allow me to update my blog? I have hear that in China some IP, or some Internet areas can only be accessed with a special permit… well, we’ll see but in any case, if not when there, I will update my blog as soon as back.