Itchy-wheels

Proud Potato

Damaste  all!

The medicine I got in Kathmandu seems to work and I can proudly announce that after 6 months of stinky yellow goo I manged to produce a POTATO today. HOORAY! :D

Anyway, after 3 days of cycling (two days uphill) through lush hills and tiny lively villages I arrived the day before yesterday in Pokhara at the feet of the Annapurna Himal. The trip was beautiful with stunning views on the rain forests and the Himalaya.
Pokhara itself is a BIG tourist trap but the location is very pretty with BIG lakes and beautiful mountains and nature so I will spend some time here. Today I will rent a kayak and tomorrow I will hike around the lake to take some pics so if I have time I will put them online before I leave for Bardia National Park so stay tuned! I’m off to row row row the boat :)

Marc

Kathmandu

Damaste all!

The last days I waited for my visa from the Indian embassy and the medical reports because of “my little problem”. It turns out that I perhaps have tropical sprue and I now get tetracycline and folic acid so wait and see.

In the meantime I visited Kathmandu, a huge town full with people, culture and LOTS of LOUT and STINKY traffic (a 24h traffic jam basically) . It is a great city to hang out and there are lots of beautiful places to visit, especially the durbar squares. In the 18th century there was a big rivalry between the bordering city Patan (now part of Kathmandu) who could build the nicest city resulting in a wealth of beautiful buildings and squares. At the same time Kathmandu was (and is) a very important city for both Hindus and Buddhists leaving the city with the Hindu Pashupatinath temple complex and the Buddhist Swoyambhunath and Boudnath stupas and TONS of smaller shrines, temples, statues etc throughout the city.

Pashupatinath is dedicated to Vishnu, the ultimate god of creation and destruction (BIG BOSS) and one of the main deities of Hinduism. The complex is a lively busy place where people worship, are married, cremated etc etc and it has a similar atmosphere as Varanasi in India. It is full with Lingu (shrines) for fertility etc etc and statues of the different avatars of Vishnu and of his servant Hanuman, the monkey god.

The stupas are way more tranquil with pilger making there Kora around the stupas turning the praying wheels as they go along. The Boudnath stupa is the second largest in the world (the largest is in Sri Lanka) and visited by many pilger from all over the globe. In a stupa the large dome symbolized the emptiness from which everything emanates and the 13 steps on the top the different levels to enlightenment, the “crown” on the stupa. The big watchfull eyes painted on the temple represents Buddha watching your doings.

Yesterday I received my visum for India so tomorrow I will leave the crowded Buddhist, Hindu and hippy city of Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a great place to hang out as it has a huge amount of restaurants and shops with food from all over the world (the even have brezel and zimt-schnecken here) but it is time to move on. The next days I will cycle to Pokhara and from there through the Terrai (jungle planes ) to Mahendranagar in the far west. During the tour I will do some trekking and safaris so stay tuned for some tiger and rhino pics (who knows). In the meantime enjoy lively Kathmandu :)

Namaste!
Marc

Cold Rush

Damaste all!

I made is from the icy snow swept mountains of Tibet to the lush hot rain forests of Nepal and I am now relaxing between the banana trees in Kathmandu :-)

As I was running out of time I took the bus to Lahze but just before leaving I suddenly was not allowed to put my bike on the bus by the driver. So I told him that the police had ordered me to leave and then is was OK. So China is really the country of Meo. As soon as you want things a little different it is always Meo=No because of rules or just because they are to lazy or unimaginative (brain dead).

Anyway I made it to Lhaze and had to cycle to the border in 6 days. This should not have been a big problem weren’t it for the fact that Tibet played its joker: stormy, ice cold headwinds. Especially on the first pass (Lhakpa La, 5252m) it was EXTREMELY windy and I could not cycle the intended 60km and camped at 4900m with -10C in the tent. So 1:0 for Tibet once again. The following two days it was the same and I was getting as little nervous as in China you better don’t get visa problems so I started early and tried to stay in tunnels or villages as much as possible to safe time. On this part of the road I met for the first time begging Tibetans, a side effect of the mass tourism on the friendship highway. I did not gave them anything as it starts with asking for sweets and it ends with dollars.

The third day I had a very special view as I could see the Mount Everest range for the first time and that thing is HUGE, really impressive. The same day the asphalt disappeared after Dingri and gave way to the classic washboard road although compared to the Axai Chin the road was good and finally there there was no wind so I could make some progress.
The next day however was a completely different story at it started out windy and I had to climb the 5030m high Lahlung La but because of the ever increasing wind I did not make it on time. to make things worse my chain got of the chain ring in the dark and I had to fix it at -10C, great fun :-/ So in the end I had to stay in a small ‘coffin tunnel’ at 5000m, brrrr.
The following day it was the same with at the final pass (Thong La, 5131m) the MOST DISGUSTING UNBELIEVABLE ICE COLD FREEZING STORMY headwinds I have had in Tibet:

The pass is fully exposed from all sides so the wind was howling like crazy so I had to push my 50 kg bike all the way to the pass with temperatures reaching -20C. Together with the lack of oxygen it took a loooong time and on the way down I even got caught in a blizzard at 4500m so I had to camp in a tunnel. 2:0 for Tibet.

Luckily from this pass it’s more than 3000m downhill (the longest on earth) and the last day the weather was great so I could cycle like crazy to the border. Going down this road is very exiting as the landscape changes from the extreme alpine climate to subtropical within one day! In the morning yaks and -10C, in the evening monkeys, banana trees and 30C, unbelievable!
Near the Nepali border the snow was melting and the road turned into a big slippery mud party so I had to be very careful or I had ended up 200m below in the roaring Koshi River but I made it on time. Hear the sound of the river:
In Nepal I entered a completely other world, Hindus, crowded, hot, flowers, humid etc etc. A BIG shock after almost 2 month Tibet. I arrived at the right time however as it was Divalle (Hindu new year) so people were singing  and going from door to door so time to party!
The next days I had to work again but I took it slowly and cycled to Kathmandu in 3 days as there were still some passes to cross.

So now I am in Kathmandu and I stay in tourist-ghetto Thamel to relax and organise my visum for India. In the meantime I am a tourist again so I am sure I will make LOTS of pictures so stay tuned and enjoy the pictures of Tibet and Nepal :-)

Namaste!
Marc

DON’T PANIC!

Tashe dele all,

I am finally back in Zongba, woonhooo! And as all travelers in the universe know Douglas Adams was right once again: DON’T PANIC! and everything will be fine :-)

I travelled from Lhasa to Shigatze and from there to Lahze in one day, not a bad thing. From then on I was illegal as it is forbidden to hitch in Tibet and even more to hitch to the west. The following day I managed to get an illegal hitch to the crossroads between Nepal and Tibet and started hiking a little past the checkpoint to avoid being seen. After a while I found a nice hitching spot near an abandoned building and started hitching. After one hour I was lucky and got a ride by a Chinese tourist group and after two days I safely arrived here in Zongba and I am safely reunited with Mouse once again :-)

Buying a ticket back to Shigatze was a problem again (how I HATE that brain dead boring stupid ticket seller) so I had to go to the police once AGAIN. It turned out they were having a Jangamo party somewhere (Tibetan police :-p) so I went there and talked to the bigwig and got permission to travel. Hooray! So tomorrow I will ‘officially’ travel to Shigatze but I will try to get of the bus a little earlier in Lahze and cycle from there over the Friendship Highway to the Nepalese border. I only have 6 days but it will be enough.

So I will be cycling again the next days and will thus first update the site in Kathmandu. See you all there :-) I posted a few more pictures (not a lot as I was running/riding aound most of the time) so in the meantime have fun!

Kale sho,
Marc

Lhasa in one day

Hi all,

I am in Lhasa now and even the PSB or the FIT (government-run travel agency) can not do anything for me. The FIT told me that they only issue travel letters to tour groups so I need to rent a jeep with driver which costs around 900$ :-o
So I either need to find more people to share the costs or I can travel to Latze by bus and hitchhike back to Zongba (the FIT suggested doing so and the cyclists Leonie, Andre, Didier and Dino suggested the same). I will thus do the last and I hope to find transportation in Lhaze soon. Fingers crossed again please :-) Tomorrow I will rush through Lhasa (a GREAT place to hang out for a while) to take some pics (Potala palace!) and then jump into the bus. If I have time I’ll post an update once I am in Zongba so stay tuned.

Kale sho,
A running Marc

 

Travel Troubles

Tashe dele all,

A rather stressed Marc here from Rikaze/Shigazte.

Everything is NOT going as planned thanks to bureaucracy :-( I tried to get on the bus to  Shigazte but they would not sell me a ticket and after a long discussion (I had to get VERY angry to get the final info) I found out that to travel independently on a bus in Tibet you need a letter from the police. RULES. So of I went to the police (one guy in a small shoddy leaking cold shed) and I finally got the letter but the bus was long gone by then so I had to wait for two days for the next one.
On the 28 I thus travelled to Shigatze to get my visa extension and visited the as always well hidden PSB (29 16.265N, 088 52.596E) but instead of the expected 30 days as I was as told by the PSB in Ali by the PSB they could only issue 7 days :-0 So I talked to the PSB chief and managed to get 10, not a lot more but still a little more air.
Now I “only” have to get back to Zongba but again they don’t want sell me a ticket (RULES) (ticket booth hidden at 29 15.970N, 088 52.91E) and nobody can write me a letter here (don’t ask me why, even the PSB can’t help, RULES) so I have to find a jeep or such to get me to Zongba and the best place is Lhasa, 250km away so I’m off to Lhasa tomorrow.  Then upon arrival in Zongba quickly to Shigatze and from there to the border. A lot of things to organise and a lot can go wrong and time is VERY SHORT so fingers crossed all please :-)
By the way, the Mount Everest is closed to individual tourist at the moment (RULES) so I will have to visit it next time or from Nepal.

Kale sho,

An organising Marc (Traveling Tibet by bus is like Monty Python 24 hours a day)

 

Kailash!

Tashe dele from New Zongba !

Time for another big update :-) After leaving Ali we had some days with great asphalt ahead of us but again the wind was blowing us back. The first day we had to climb out of the Indus valley into the Gar valley and because of the wind it was not an easy job. The wide Gar valey itself was easy to cycle although the Terko La (4801m) turned about to be a beast because of the ice cold Himalayan headwinds. We did not make it to a cozy hotel in Moincer as planned and had to camp in a tunnel. So the next day we took it easy in Moincer and visited the Tirtapuri hot springs (31 07.620N 080 45.141E and it was great, my first bath since my departure from the netherlands, a real bliss :-) Ultra clean and fit we set then of for Darchen to start the Kora around the Kaliash Mountain. We had a long climb ahead of us over a nameless 4822m pass but the road was good as the whole road until Darchen is being prepared for asphalt.

In Darchen we set out for the 54km Kora around the Holy Mountain and we had a great trip and weather. Deep blue skies and the huge Kailash next to me made me feel very small, no wonder this mountain is holy :-) The monks at the first monastery we staid were a friendly bunch but how they manage to live in such harsh conditions is a mystery to me, it must be the butter tea… The next day was a real though one with a climb over the 5648m high Droma La (highest point for me thus far) and it was snow sliding all the time for me as my cheap Chinese boots could not handle the iced snow. On the way down we met some monks doing the Kora the hard way, prostrating themselves every step and praying. This waythe Kora takes 2 weeks but leads to instant holiness (and ages all over the body). The third day it was an easy walk and after a great meal in one of the many restaurants in Darchen we set of the next day to the Manasarovar lake in the hope of enjoying the hot springs near Jui monastery.

The trip turned out to be tougher than expected (never believe the Lonely Planet, that thing is written for lazy backpackers) because of an high pass (4801m), road constructions after the pass and an unexpected blizzard at sunset. The 5 km to Jui took ages and on the way down I lost Patrick. I made it safely to the hotel but he had to stay in a road workers camp. The hot springs themselves were a big disappointment, they are totally worthless. They are not warm and the basins are old, dirty bathtubs where the whole village takes a bath, bweeeech. So no bath for us. On the other hand the lake was beautiful and I had a great stroll there.
After this holiday it was time to head onwards to our next big obstacle, the 5280m high Mayum La, the second highest pass during my trip through Tibet. The road was washboard all the way but the valley leading to the pass was beautiful, filled with wildlife (deer, wild donkeys, marmots etc) so it was a great trip but the night were REALLY COLD (-20 outside the tent at Gung-Gyo Lake, 4582m). The climb he next day was only difficult in the beginning as it was quit steep but the last part and the downhill where just great. We staid in a small deserted truck stop (Mayum) with the company of two cooky-loving dogs. The next day after 5km we had to pass a checkpoint but the bored soldier did not even ask for our ATP. Cycling became more difficult as the road turned into the most disgusting stony-sandy washboard I have ever cycled on and the landscape became more an more arid. In the end  we ended up in a prairie-like landscape with the Himalaya on our right side and loose sand roads below our wheels. So it was pushing time, no fun with 45kg bikes :-( fortunately we could stay with a family in a small nomad village to recover and after a (not so healthy, ask Patrick) sausage meal we set of for Paryang, a small village to replenish our supplies. The road was the same as the previous day and we were glad to reach the village for some relaxing and some lovely Chinese food. The following day the sandy washboard dirt track led us trough some real alien looking landscapes with sand dunes, lakes and the Himalaya over the Soge La (4725m) and a small 4650m pass to the valley of the Tsangpo, better known as the Brahmaputra. The last part was a short ride to New Zongba as this is the only place to catch a bus around here.

A bus?? Yes, I have to go to Shingatze to get my visa extension and I have to take a bus I time is to short to cycle :-o So after some great weeks of cycling together I said goodbye to Patrick (he has a 3 month visa) but I will probably see him again in Kathmandu.
So tomorrow I‘m off to Shigatze and then to the Mount Everest. The next update will thus be in Kathmandu in 3 weeks so see you then! In the meantime enjoy some more pictures from amazing Tibet :-)

If anybody wants to send parcels for Sinterklaas or Christmass you can do this by sending it to: Marc Johan Steigenga, Poste Restante, General Post Office, Kathmandu, Nepal. After 2 months of Tibet I’ll probably be starved, HINT HINT :-)

Kale sho!

Marc

Touching the sky

After leaving Kashgar together with Daniel and LOTS of food we first set of for the Taklamakan desert, our first obstacle on the way to Tibet. The part of the Taklamakan we cycled through was flat like a pancake, a real serir and there was not a lot to see but that left me with lot of time to think about the last 6 month on the road. Most of the days we had a lot of wind including lots of small whirlwinds. In Yecheng we got some wrong road information from the chinese and took the wrong junction and we ended up in the wrong part of the Taklamakan so we had to cycle 20km back. So beware of the Chinese and look for a signpost with 219 on it. The 219 leads all the way to Ali high up in Tibet and after three days in the Taklamakan the landscape became more and more mountainous as so we were on the right track. In Kudi we had our first checkpoint but we could cross without any problems and could continue to our first pass, the 3258m Kudi La. It proved to be harder than expected as upon leaving Kudi the asphalt ended and the climb was quite long. I also had an off-day so we camped before the pass, not a bad thing as after this pass it is not possible to get below 3000m to get rid of possible altitude sickness. The next day we succeeded and from the top saw the Chan Tang range, high 5 and 6 thounders separating us from the Axai Chin planes.

The next days we climbed to the the 4988 Chiragsaldi La, struggling with the roads and the lack of oxygen. The following days were a little more relaxed as we followed the wide valley of the Yarkan He through the Chang Tang to the top of the Kirgizjangal Daban. The climb was hard and consisted about of dozens of serpentine and the road was bad because of thick layers of loose rocks and dust. So we took it easy in Xaidulla, a small village to replenish our supplies and to recover as our next main aim was the 5120m high Khitai Pan, the last pass separating us from the Aksai Chin Planes. It was a thouggh trip, mostly because of the strong head winds causing strong dust storms. Just before the pass we staid in an abounded road station, nicknamed “cyclist’ inn’ as most cyclist stay here before the long climb to the 5120m Khitai Pan. It was a comfortable place and we made ourself immortal as Tibet travellers by putting our name between the many other names covering the walls of the room. The climb itself was loooong and cold and the lack of oxygen made it quite though but the view from the top into the axai chin was fantastic and after a short brake we headed down to the planes.

The axai chin, what can I say, it is high (4000m+), cold, VERY windy, snowy and dry with the most amazing views I have ever seen . Cycling on these heights surrounded by small hills (all 5000 and 6000m+) and the deep blue sky really gave me the feeling hat I could touch the sky, an unbelievable sense of freedom. Because of the arid character f the planes we encountered some water problems as we had planned to replenish our supplies in Tielongtan but this village turned out to be located 40km further than shown on the map, a bad thing (cyclists BEWARE).

In Tielongtan Daniel left me for another cyclist (Boris) because he wanted to cycle faster and longer distances (where did I here that before?) so I went on alone towards the highest pass in western Tibet, the 5380m high Quishan La. On the way a saw a lot of wildlife, gazelles, marmots, eagles etc etc, it’s full of life if you now where to look. The climb was though because of the ICE COLD, REALLY ICE COLD bone freezing headwinds so I took a short brake in Sumshi and set of for the final climb. The last part to the top was hell as because of the lack of oxygen at 5000m my legs gave out but in the end made it :-) The next day was the coldest I have encountered sofar with snowstorms so I was happy to reach domar after some days of cycling to relax a little.

To my surprise I encountered Patrick there (He previously had cycled with Boris who now cycled with my ex-cycling partner Daniel) so I cycle with Patrick now.
Our main aim Ali was getting closer and closer and I was beginning to stink more and more (21 days of not washing) so we tried to Rush to Ali. the bad washboard road lead us over multiple days trough amazing valleys with salt lakes and sand dunes all the way up to Niak Tso where I finally could take a bath, humanity was saved :-) The next day we reached Rutog, a small Tibetan Town where we could recover and buy some supplies for the last part to Ali. We expected it to be easy as from Rutog to Ali the road is asphalted (YES!!) but the Tibetan ever present Tibetan headwinds blew us from our bikes and our plans our plans to bits.

But finally, after 23 days of cycling I reached Ali and I stay now with Patrick in the Chin Hotel (32 30.186N 080 05,365E) and the last days we enjoyed the luxuries of a hot shower, a bed ,a western toilet and LOTS and LOTS of food :-) And after paying a 30000Y penalty we also organised our Alien Travel Permit at the FSB office (32 30.405N, 080 06.662E) as until Ali we where illegally in Tibet.

Tomorrow we will leave for the holy mountain Kailash to do the Kora (Pilgrim walk) and our next aim will be the Mount Everest. We will have internet in 3 weeks in Saga but I do not know if I have time to update the site so if not see you all in Kathmandu, Nepal! In the meantime enjoy the new pictures

Cycle the world,
Marc

In a hurry

Hi All!

Yesterday I visited the animal market which was great fun (see pics) and did the last shopping. So I am ready now for Tibet and I will leave tomorrow so there will be internet silence until Ali, around 3 weeks. If time is short it might be that I will first update the blog in Kathmandu, (Nepal) so if you don’t hear anything from me the coming two months don’t worry. 

I will not cycle alone as I will cycle together with Daniel, a German recumbent cyclist. Furthermore Andreas von Hessberg (expedition cyclist from Bayreuth) and his girlfriend also leave tomorrow and in 4 days another pair of cyclists will head for Tibet so it’s going to be crowded up there. 

So see you all in Ali or in Kathmandu and take care! In the meantime enjoy some alternative cycle touring with Monty Python (look alike of Max) :-)

Marc



 

 

The attic

Ni Hao all :-)

I made it safely over the “Attic of the World” to Kashgar, China.  First of all I would like to thank my parents and Mark for sending me packages and I especially would like to give a BIG hug to Magdalena for sending me a snow tiger all the way from Poland as a travel companion. A BIG thank you to you all :-)

Leaving Gorogh took some time as Scott’s GBAO permit had a wrong passport number on it but with a razorblade and some ink this problem was quickly ’solved’. The first days we cycled through the beautifully green Gunt valley. As we had heard about a cyclist being robbed here we decided to play safe and staid in a small village for the night. The next day after a hard climb we cycled over  the Koltezek pass (4254m) and reached the 4000+m Pamir plateau. Cycling at this height is quite strange as the air is extremely dry and thin so the legs are willing to do their job but the lungs are complaining. Now I know how a smoker feels after climbing some stairs. With the amount of air we had at 4000m in an airplane the oxygen masks come dropping down so you can imagine how it is to cycle here :-) Another funny thing is that everything you cook stays a little raw as at this height water already boils at 80C so pasta, potatoes and rice are rather crunchy to eat here.
The views were amazing as we cycled at the same height of the glaciers and with the deep blue sky we really had the feeling of being able to touch the mountain tops (all 5 and 6 thousanders) with our fingertips. The next day we took it easy in Alichur and acclimatized a little in a lovely  home stay we found there and we had a great time. The coordinates are: 37 45.068N 073 15.646E. The following days we cycled further over the plateau towards Murgab and the views became wider and wider and we saw the first yurts and yaks :-) A wonder how the nomads can live in this harsh place. 

Murgab itself is just a collection of some decaying tin and concrete buildings and the most uninviting ‘town’ I visited thusfar. Entering the town was not without problems because of a checkpoint. Scott was cycling far in front of me and got through without problem but for me it was different. When I approached the checkpoint a soldier opened the gate for me (as I presumed) so I salaamed him and cycled on). I heard some shouting behind me but I did not pay attention to it thinking it was coming from one of the truck drivers. To my surprise however, five minutes later with screeching wheels a Lada came to a halt in front of me with and a very angry russian soldier jumped out and demanded me to go with him to the checkpoint. To make his point a little more clear he even pointed his loaded gun at me :-) Well I’m used to this (see last update) and in the end it was no problem at all, It turned out I only had to register.
After a short night in a very rundown hotel we departed on a truck to Shary Tash (Kirgizstan) and I got off at Karakul to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the  ever color changing lake and the surrounding glacier-covered mountains. Karakul lake is an old meteor crater and with 3924 the highest lake in central Asia. It is salty because water evaporated really fast at this height so the shores are covered in a white salty ’snow crust’. As I had some somoni left I staid for the night in the comfortable homestay of Mr. Sadat and his wife in Karakul and had my first yak butter and butter-chai there, great stuff :-) Their comfy place can be found at 39 00.836N 073 33.692E.
The following day I had to climb over the 4289m Kyzil Art pass, marking the border with Kirgizstan and this was one of the hardest days I’ve had sofar. The wind was a blowing ice-cold gale coming straight from the Kirgiz glaciers blowing right into my face with around 8bft (it blew me of my bike 2 times) and the road was washboard and partly covered with big stones. Combined with the thin air I only managed 8kmh and I first reached the border at 17:00. The border crossing was hassle free although it was quite strange to first to have to cross the Tajik border post, and then a Russian one. So basically the russians still control Tajikistan.
The Kirgis border post was still 20km from there and the downhill was over a very bad landslide road through nomansland. The Kirgis border crossing was very easy and a very relaxed soldier looked at my visa and that was it, no forms, no stamps, nothing :-)

Kirgizstan itself is TOTALLY different from Tajikistan. Cycling down to the wide Alay Oronu planes everything became green with big herds of sheep, yaks and horses and the yurts of the nomads. In Shary Tash I did some shopping as between there and the Chinese border there is nothing to get and water is scarce. To my surprise they even had eggs and tomatoes, things I could not find up in the Pamir.
Upon leaving the town I stumbled upon a french-Belgian couple and we set out together towards China cycling over a VERY bad piste. The surrounding were amazing however with on the right hand side the wide grass planes with on the horizon the towering  6000m+ snow covered mountains of the Pamir. After two days of cycling we finally reached a river at the other side of the Erkech Tam pass (3546m) and there we met with Martin an Johan, the 2 Germans Scott was supposed to meet in Kashgar. So again: haste is waste :-) This is the only place with water between Sary Tash and the Chinese border and it is a great campsite, too. You can find it after the checkpoint in the valley (or coming from china, 20km after the border) at kilometer pole 241 at 39 38.929N 073 49.794E.
The next morning we thus set out with a group of 5, the invasion of china had begun! The Chinese borderguards were no match for us and op we cycled into the color full Chinese mountains. Ni Hao China :-)

Cycling in China is a great pleasure as the asphalt is baby bottom smooth and the Uygur are very friendly. And best of all, the food is extremely yummy and super cheap. One meal is around 30 Eurocents so I am rich again, Chinese food here I come! After 4 days we reached multicultural Kashgar where I’m staying now in the Seman hotel (39 28.245N 075 58.119E) which is LOADED with cyclists all heading to ‘the unmentionable country’ (because of the tourist police PSB) and Pakistan. A day before reaching Kashgar we met Claude Marthaler, a famous world cyclist and he had met 43 cyclist ‘up there’ (half of them chineese). A few km later we met Bal again so I had a small reunion there and 
In Kashgar I also met up with Toon.  He has left today for his trip through east ‘unmentionable country” as this route is less touristy and a little easier. So good luck Toon!

As the pills I got from Gorogh did not work I had a check up in the hightech hospital here and everything is ok. No more problems with blood cells and they could not find any parasites so according to the Chinese I am healthy. My toilet (and room mates) think differently though :-) Nevertheless I got some new pills and I will try them out the following days. In the meantime I will do some shopping as you can get EVERYTHING here in the bazaar and in the MEGAbig supermarkets and when I don’t shop I will eat and sleep :-) I will take some pics of Kashgar the following days so stay tuned and don’t forget to check out the tons of new pics!

Marc
 

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