Kuqa to Korla
Not a whole lot to say other then in the past few days the weather has been perfect along with the roads, the food and the scenery.
Last night we camped out in a rather eerie place (which was the first impression) but ended up being a great spot and accommodated us all quite well. We set up camp inside the confines of an old cattle slaughter ranch. There were about 30 long rectangular cattle stalls with small windows every 20 feet or so making a big square shaped compound. Around the edge the grounds was all perfectly flat cement pads and a sort of a long grassy courtyard in the center with a fresh water well!!. The whole outside of the compound was enclosed with a big tall brick fence. We just sat around all afternoon and evening shooting the breeze, drinking coffee and tea. The evenings are still quite warm, and you can get away with sleeping in only your sleeping bag liner and with your tent fly off for a good view of the clear starry night sky.
We have now skirted three quarters of the way across the north of the Taklamakan desert and have reached a bit of a cross roads here in Korla. This is where one of the many Silk Routes (and the one in which we are following) splits heading north east and the other heading south east cutting right through the center of the desert. We will be heading north east tomorrow making our way towards Turpan (80m below sea level) where we will have another rest day. Until then we will be three more days out on the road, camping in the desert at night and racking up some more miles!!