Across Continents

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Descent to Jinghe

August 14th, 2010

Barely perceptible. Four thousand feet of descent down pristine dual carriageway, sweeping gracefully to and fro across the ever widening valley. Lush grasslands bordering Lake Sayram Hu soon replaced by arid steppe. The sharp chill of early morning mountain air giving way to the sapping heat of the plain below.

Descent from Lake Sayram Hu - web version

Little traffic, mostly lorries. A convoy of Polish overlanders I’d met the previous day fly past in their off road vehicles, waving enthusiastically. A few Chinese touring cyclists on the other carriageway, much less laden than my own bicycle. We scramble across the wide, rocky central reservation, exchange pleasantries, and continue on our respective ways.

Frequent signs count down kilometres remaining on the route – the G30 – in excess of four thousand. Its final destination unknown, the road signs incomprehendable. My intended night’s stop of Jinghe somewhere along the soon monotonous dual carriageway.

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