FINALLY!!! One of the only days in the past 6 months that I HAD to be somewhere specific on a certain day. The China/Krgyz border on August 27, and I made it! It was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders getting to that border. I always had thoughts in the back of my head like “what if my bike breaks down?” or “what if I get stranded at some border and can’t make that day?” I was one of the biggest expenses of the trip paying for the guide through China and I didn’t want that to go to waste. Not to mention, it would take months to reorganize another trip.
I joined up with 5 other riders from around the world. Frank and Petra from Germany, Mike and Aad from Australia/Holland and Chris from the U.K. After making the entire trip solo up to this point I had my reservations about having to ride with other people for a week. Fortunately, we all got along great and really enjoyed the trip through China. We even got along enough that we all decided to stay together through Pakistan.
The one thing I will always remember about getting into China is being able to get good food again. Central Asia has a lot of boiled meat and potatoes with zero spices and after a couple of months of that it becomes pretty sickening. The first meal in China was like an explosion of flavor, I almost forgot what it was like to have spicy food. It’s amazing what good food does for you mentally too. I know my mood changed drastically when I finally started looking forward to eating and going to restaurants again.
I enjoyed all of the places we visited here but it kind of sucked having a guide the whole time. It would have been nice to spend a few more days in Kashgar and take some more time going through the mountains in the south. But with a guide, our hands were tied and we had to stay on schedule.