This is a vast province in the north-west of China. Huge distances between towns, and long stretches with no people at all. A bit tough at times, but there are some lovely new expressways being built, and with super-smooth roads, I covered some record distances. It used to be a lot of Uighur people here, and various other minorities – but they are rapidly being outnumbered by the Han Chinese. Hopefully some of the last desert stretches for me.
The 312 is the road I will follow at least until Xian – it runs for over 4800km from Shanghai to Korgas. Expressways are being built, but they’re not all complete yet – sometimes when they’re half-finished, I get to ride on stretches with no traffic.
Now I may not be able to read Chinese, but I know what 31km of downhill looks like! Actually turned out to be around 45km of smooth downhill – glorious after the struggle uphill
My map said there was a large town – it turned out to be two service stations. Turned out another cyclist had stopped here a couple of years ago, and written something in their book – I added my entry. Photos with the staff were then wanted. Very nice.
Some big vast open spaces – shots from the road.
You too can look like this after 3 days in the desert
A few Urumqi shots – got a couple of cables replaced at a bike shop – only $1.30. They wanted to take photos of my Rohloff hub, they hadn’t seen one before – good mechanics there. The night market was a good place to eat, and hang out.
More shots from the road between Urumqi and Hami
A big marker – Only 4000km on the 312 to Shanghai!
I stopped at a nothing town, in the middle of nowhere, thousands of kilometres from the ocean…and picked up a New Zealand milk drink.
More shots from the road. Absolutely no idea what the concrete kangaroos and giraffes were all about.
One of the nice things is if you need minor repairs and the like done – this lady is sewing up a huge rip in my silk sleeping bag liner. Cost: less than $0.50