Upon the turnback in Tibet and reaching my mileage goal (Which is a funny story. I thought I had told everyone it was 15,000 miles, so there was no celebration but more feelings of defeat) I was pretty set on resting the bike and getting a backpack for Xinjiang and the K’stans…because, well, winter is upon us.
If you don’t know anything about Xinjiang, it has 2 seasons…summer and winter. It’s famous for it’s wind and sand storms, i.e. blowing a train car of the tracks and I heard a story of a British cyclist being killed in a wind storm taking the Southern Route of the Silk Road (NW Qinghai) in no mans land.
Well, I have 2 weeks until I set off. In the meantime I’m getting a TB and Hep test…as I’m still physically not up to par. They recommend people that hangout with homeless people get tested. I WAS living on dirt floors with nomads. Also, TB kills a lot of people in Asia and Africa. I had a lot of Tibetans coughing near me, on me, snotty nosed kids sneezing and their mucous getting on me, or mixing my tsampa with their bare hands. (They also don’t use toilet paper)
Also, I’m having new wheels built, my repaired Brooks saddle is on it’s way from England, and…I bought replacement handlebars. The Soma Sparrow 560mm.
The idea of hitchhiking around Xinjiang is exciting because it’s different and the idea of walking around without worries of my bike getting stolen OR broken…is great. BUT, the idea of being in an automobile passing by nomads and locals…tears my heart apart. Also, I don’t have my get-away ride anymore and it’s a little more difficult to go meandering through open’ness or getting up mountains. The photos people love, and I love, are taken from when I was solo and invited in with people. Being in a car, bus…that’s not going to happen…or maybe it will?
I’ll be monitoring the weather conditions every day and there is a storm coming in, maybe I just stay put. Whether on bike or foot. My Work Visa doesn’t expire until Jan 28th, so in all reality…I could spend winter in Xinjiang, head into Kyrgyzstan (Jan 27th) and be in Kazakhstan in early March (that’s close enough to Spring to not freeze, right?).
I’m hoping someone out there, in cyber world, can offer some advice or wisdom…or an answer will come to me from the heavens.
In the meantime, I hope you take a look at the photographs for sale…I really really need some winter gear. Or you could mail me your old stuff.