Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 214 (China): Kashgar - Khesir Badadi (never got so many offers in one day)

daily distance: 131km
total distance: 11,781km
riding time: 7h

I meant to leave early today and couldn’t really. First off, I found that my helmet had a slight problem. Take a look for yourself. Now, I don’t know how this happened, but it could be something in the aftermath of Sary Tash, it could be something else.


After some more errands I got back on the bike and headed out. First conversations that really didn’t happen in Kashgar started to take place at a fruit stand. Germany was just a far place, so was Beijing I had the feeling.

Just before, a group of elderly Chinese (some younger ones as well, I suppose) was going through their morning ritual in a park.

She wasn’t part of that crowd …

Then it was out riding for the day. It is desert riding in a different way. There are still a number of oases and I don’t yet have the feeling to be in the desert. And it is rather cold most of the day. There are maybe two hours each day during which it is slightly warm, but it was dull grey sky for most of the day. Which invoked strange feelings of gloominess.

Heading into Yengisar a 12-year old girl stretched her arm out and pushed an apple into my hand as I was cycling by. It was an uplifting experience …. so were the great number of offers to put the bike on trucks or on stretch mofas. All were declined however.

In Yengisar the lone internet cafe was on the second floor. I had asked at a print shop and when I told them that the bike was a problem, one guy simply opened up a door, told me to put it in and it would be good. I was a bit cautious after what had happened, but he just gave me the key to the lock and told me to give it back when I was done. Awesome!!!

Then I pedaled on again into the afternoon. It was now dreary desert riding … there is a forest about 3km to the North, but through the haze one can barely see it. Other than that it is just wide I guess - but you can’t be sure because of the constant haze.

Finding a place proved tricky. All the oases are completely used up and the wind was fierce all afternoon (in my face of course), so after a while I was shown a place in a building with the national flag over it. All was good until someone made a phone call and it was no longer a go. No idea what happened. All of a sudden everyone was gone.

By now it was dark and kids were pestering me. Trying to find something was difficult, but in the end - after being turned away numerous times - a guy welding said it was no problem. He turned out to be a handy person - apart from being a welder, he was also a doctor of sorts and lots of other things, such as miller and farmer. An older man came in with a problem on his left elbow, clearly in pain. With lots of unorthodoxy, he seemed to have fixed him up pretty well, although the face of the old man was clearly showing agony.

Sleep came after a long day of cycling and some eerie moments of not knowing what would happen next, but all was well in the end.

1 comment

1 Ben King { 10.25.08 at 1:24 pm }

Hey Markus

Have been meaning to drop you a note for ages! I’ve been keeping up with your progress along the way, such a wonderful adventure! I am now more or less certain that I will be doing a very similar trip starting next year. I’m planning on starting Hungary I think and hopefully finishing in Japan, but we’ll see… I hope to be able to check in with you at some stage and get lots more info!

Keep up the great work and the great photos.. love it!

All the best, Ben

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