Posts Tagged ‘High Plains’


A drop of 1500m over 50km on a smooth road, and a climb of 800m over 40km on the road from hell. The police nearly didn’t let me take the road from hell – it took me two attempts to pass the police checkpoint. I’m all ready for the last climb to over 3000m before the long roll into the below sea-level furnace called Turpan.

A bumpy road

A bumpy road

A day of contrasts. Frost on the tent at 3300m, and the midday heat having lunch at 1800m. A smooth paved road descending 1500m from the heavens, and a bumpy, rocky, sandy road, plied by big trucks ascending back into the heavens. Failure to pass the police checkpoint. I said I wanted to go to Urumqi (which is the same road to Turpan). Then success – I said I wanted to go to Turpan. (I think they know that a cyclist can handle 40km of crap roads to the turnoff to Turpan. The whole 180km on crap roads over a 4000m high pass is a bit much.. ☺)

Summit monument

Summit monument

The long descent

The long descent


It’s a different China. This morning I left my holiday yurt, climbed into the heavens, and dropped down onto wide, open plains, with snow-capped mountains in the distance, and void of people. With the wind at my back, I rolled along these endless plains, feeling free and happy in this beautiful place.

The high plains

The high plains

You can see for miles – in fact more than 20 kilometres. This is a photo looking back at the previous photo.

The High Plains

The High Plains

The plains roll on in all directions for-ever. Leaving the road you could walk until you are a dot, invisible from the road. Slowly, I climbed on the plains, and they turned into a high yurt valley – but this time real yurts – not the holiday yurts below. The plains are flat, and a fence lines the road, making a secret camp challenging. My tent is in view of the road, in a tiny dip, next to a small river.

Frosty camping spot

Frosty camping spot

View from the high pass

View from the high pass

Summit monument

Summit monument