In the Desert
Good morning desert camp (or should I say Cafe Camp/busy all night truck stop) and hello again to flat roads , fried egg sandwiches and hot drinks for lunch at a roadside petrol station. After a busy and noisy night at our pink and white striped cafe (trucks coming and going and the ‘ladies of the night’ were hard at work) as well as a few solid hours of rain, it was a slowish start for the riders today. A pleasant start was replaced by rain and some cold temperatures but as we moved further east the weather cleared up, the rain went away, the temperature rose to a comfortable level and the wind decided to calm down and blow behind the riders instead of in their faces. The route was mostly flat and probably the most exciting thing that happened was Big Dave holding a stretching class at the desert camp. The scenery around is starting to resemble the desert but the beautiful sandstone hills still rise up next to us on one side and the flat, gravelly and scrubby desert scenery is ever-present on the other side. After lunch, the ride was mostly downhill, the wind played nice, a couple of villages appeared in which we were able to buy drinks and snacks. Before we knew it, we arrived at camp, an abandoned fuel station at the foot of the mountains and a short walk from a local village that housed some great cafes selling beer, snacks, sodas and other yummy fare. So some of the riders spent the afternoon relaxing in cafes, some hung out in their tents, some fixed their bikes, some read, some slept, some stretched and some just socialized as life in China rolled by! Tomorrow, the town of Aksu awaits a few hundred kms away and as most riders are planning what part of the day to ride, all are hoping for a ripper tail wind to get them to the hotel early!!!