When you have a list of 250 items to pack, you might forget your moustache trimmer. The good thing is, India or Bhutan, Bhutan or China – every man needs a moustache trimmer. So, in Hami, China, we were trying to cross a huge intersection to get to a store on the other side of the road. There was heavy traffic and crossing the road was confusing. Fortunately, we saw a couple of policemen at the corner who we reached out for help. Unfortunately, we didn’t speak each other’s language and we were swiftly taken to the police station. A couple of hours and intervention by our ever-helpful guide later, we were out of the police station. We are yet to understand the exact reason but what we know is any uncommon behaviour is treated with suspicion and the police play it safe. It is a rather sensitive area and they are extra careful there. Who knew a moustache trimmer would take me to the insides of a Chinese police station.
Anyway, on the road we were next morning.
Packed lunch because there is no restaurant for a 400 kilometer stretch! And off we went again at a speed of 120-170 km/hour.
The Police in China are friendly but they are very wary of strangers and foreigners. There is a lot of checking on the road and each major stop took about 30-45 minutes extending the day by that much longer. On Sunday, one of the cars in our group, found itself stuck on the road and we waited for it to be cleared. By then it was 10 PM, and we had a good couple hours to drive to our destination. The car was cleared but since it was night the police got stricter with its checking.
The roads became plainer and straighter and we took to speeds of 140 to 180 km/hour. As is possible with speed a bunch of us ran into the risk of meeting with a bad accident, after which we decided to restrict speed to a steady 120 km/hour.
And we stop for gas under surveillance.
This day, 10th May started at 8.30AM. We drove 12-13 hours and had a 8-hour stopover for exit from China and entry into Kyrgyzstan. We reached our destination at 2AM local time (4AM China time!). But what a beautiful welcome it was. Not by hotels, but by mother nature!
And now we are enjoying a rest day!
Looking back at how far we have come! 47 of 72 days, 7 of 10+ weeks, 13,500 of 21,000 kilometers…