Day 187. 131km. Village before turnoff to Turpan – Yuergou

Posted: November 15, 2015 in China, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

I missed a day to the rain. The village that I got to know as wet and grey I discovered was perched in a beautiful snowy mountain lined meeting of valleys. I cycled up one of these valleys and down the other side, watching the landscape transform from grassy high mountain plains to a barren flat desert.

Summit prayer flags

Summit prayer flags

When I left my little room at 3am to have a leak, I stepped outside and saw a starry sky, and a crescent moon. I smiled. The rain has gone, and the day cycling will be awesome. And it was. Three more kilometres on the crap road surface before the turn-off, and the smooth roads I have come to love in China.

My bedroom for the night

My bedroom for the night

The rainy village in the sun

The rainy village in the sun

The road was a bit rough

The road was a bit rough

Then a steady climb through the grassy yurt valley before the steep climb. I have grown used to these big climbs. I reach the end of the valley, look ahead at the ring of mountains and wonder where the road is going to go. Then I spot the road way up in some impossible place. How is the road going to get there? Well, it does. Somehow.

Yurts

Yurts

High mountain valley

High mountain valley

Top of the pass

Top of the pass

And then the descent to beat all descents. In total the road drops from 3200m to below sea level – over 200km. It drops from the rolling grassy green landscape to the hot, desolate, rocky flats. I stopped after 131km at the edge of the wide flat expanse. The crossing of that to Turpan can wait until tomorrow.

The way down

The way down

It's getting dryer

It’s getting dryer

The dry rocky mountains

The dry rocky mountains

Comments
  1. Eliza Waters says:

    That potholed road can hardly be called a road – bone jarring I can imagine! The yurt valley reminded me of the altiplano in Peru. I guess all high mountain valleys are probably similar!

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