Trade routes change for a range of reasons (economics, politics, seasons, etc.), and our intended route is no different.
The above map shows a few options that may help us accommodate the world around us as we head west.
"Unfortunately, Kit did not get to partake in the actual walking of our expedition. As he stepped off the plane in Tashkent, he checked his visa and broke out
into a cold sweat. He was in line at border control with a visa that had drastically wrong dates. I was just held up at the border for the same reasons and had to wait another week for a new
Read more about our experience here.
"Paul and Timb waved down a truck that could accommodate us and our trailers while I continued to feel dizzy and confused sitting in the shade. We loaded the trailers into the back with the three preexisting inhabitants, a little goat, an average-sized sheep, and a large male sheep with a territorial disposition (luckily, this was aimed at the other animals and not us). We climbed up into the, thankfully dry, manure-filled back end, and held on for dear life as we were driven up and over a windy mountain pass and down an equally windy and bumpy valley to Jalal-Abad."
"The trail was sloped again, and any semblance of road vanished as we hit a scree and talus field that seemed to have destroyed all but the corners of the road. We navigated down about a kilometer of scree with the trailers. With no good paths, we each chose our own adventure. I got tired of taking fake, crappy switch-backs and went for the controlled slide method for a small section. Each time we made it down to where it seemed the road would begin, we would again watch it disappear from in front of us. It was challenging, but a fun sort of adventure."
"We were pretty bored as we waited, but, eventually, the lawyers came and then it got a bit more interesting again. They separated us and interviewed/interrogated us for about 20-30 minutes each. They asked us about our religion, jobs, family, and how we found out about the Silk Road."
"Our final section of China brought us from Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, to the massively vital trade hub of Khorgos, the port between China and Kazakhstan. When I say, “brought us from Urumqi to Khorgos,” it’s not that much of a stretch considering the number of times we were detained by police..."
This is a guest blog by Conner Keeffe who walked with us through southern Gansu Province from Day 19 to Day 39. Conner is our friend from the states who has been a strong supporter of the walk, helping us organize the 'telling the story' portion of this adventure. For a fresh perspective on this expedition from Conner, read more here.
This is a guest blog by Marta Nowak. Although Marta only walked with us for a day, we spent a lot of time together, traveling around southern Xinjiang and leap-frogging our way through a few towns north of the Heavenly Mountains. This entry is from Marta's perspective during a layover day that ended up being a very eventful day of Yurt Building.
"Having spent more time away from our trailers than we ever anticipated or intended to, we arrived back in Hami in a weird place. As a group, we had isolated ourselves before coming back and tensions were felt in every direction. We were not in a good place having left much unsaid; festering for the last two weeks..."