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In the morning, Robozwerg‘s eyes were much better, but the bike was much worse.

It seemed like it was just kind of slowly falling apart:

Cucumber broken again

The weather had changed for the better though – there was absolutely no wind today.

So we joined in our efforts to push the Cucumber and the Caboose together:


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At some point it was so boring I thought we were like ants in a football stadium:

dry Gobi

…little by little…

long road

…we were making our way through the vast expanse…


…unsure of how much was still laying ahead.

We almost rolled over a snake once:


Although it might have as well been an earthworm.

Then, after hours and hours of being bored and singing songs, we got our first glimpse at the sand dunes that were supposed to be ahead:

sand river

I tend to like sand much better when it’s on a beach though, but maybe that’s just me.

There was also this huge construction site that we passed by:


Now if nothing’s going on at a construction site in Germany, then it’s probably just a lunch break or a holiday. But if nothing’s going on at a construction site here in China, then there’s probably something seriously wrong.

Someone later told me that the Hong Kong company that had started to build this 5-star spa resort out here in the desert 3 years ago was undergoing some “financial difficulties” lately.

To me, the whole thing didn’t look like such a good idea from the start, but what do I know.

The green stretch of land that forms the oasis of Dunhuang started not far from there:

road to Dunhuang

There were flowers:

white flower

And we walked past some more ancient ruins on the way:

ruin in Dunhuang

We made it to the toll station by 9pm:

toll station

Our greatest wish was to get to a hotel in the city tonight, just to put an end to the misery of these last few days.

We wanted:

…clean beds,

…a shower,


…chocolate candy bars,

…cold drinks,

…smiling people to talk to,

So we kept on walking through the dark, until the city of Dunhuang finally gave us a warm welcome with all her beautiful lights:

Dunhuang at night

Oh, what a feeling.

Robozwerg says:

“Now I actually think this one day of total blindness (if you can’t fight it – jump on it) was the coolest experience I have had during this trip so far.”

  • Florian (Flo Li Anh,

    Net schlecht, Herr Specht!

    @Robozwerg: Ist ja auch ne tolle Sache, wenn man sich auf seinen Bruder so verlassen kann!


  • Freddy

    It's hard to imagine how people live in a city like that, in the middle of nowhere…
    Good for you to finally reach a "civilized" place…


  • Patrick

    this tol station sure is something….haha i nearly crapped my pants. look at this thing. this could very well be a "clichee" joke out of south park.

    i really hope you guys had a good and refreshing night. you sure deserve it, after this "hardcore camping experience"


  • Marc

    Hey Robozwerg, hast du auch übernatürliche Kräfte entwickelt?`Also ein Supergehör oder so, während du blind warst? Klingt echt interessant, man nimmt die Welt wahrscheinlich echt anders wahr.


  • Barry aka Ba Lli

    Jetzt hat euch wohl das schlechte Gewissen gepackt, so wie ihr im Moment die Kilometer fresst. Die Pause, Dusche, kalten Getränke etc habt ihr euch redlich verdient.
    Aber nicht gleich wieder ewig Pause. Der Robozwerg muss ja irgendwann auch wieder nach Hause und will vorher noch was sehn.
    Mein Vorschlag: ein Tag ausruhen, dann die Grotten und die Düne besichtigen und dann geht es weiter.
    Kann ich mir aber alles schenken, da ihr ja inzwischen schon vier Tage weiter seit.
    Nach der Oase kommt wohl erst mal wieder ein bißchen Wüste (was ich so in Google Earth gesehen habe). Aber jetzt wisst ihr ja wie es geht.

    Habe jetzt endlich auch den Artikel in der Zeit gelesen (Athen-Peking). In Zentralasien ist es wohl mit Internet etwas dürftig. Da du aber eh über GSM reingehst dürfte das ja keine Rolle spielen.

    Habt ihr jetzt irgendwo im Nichts auch mal Menschen getroffen, soll heißen, war denn auf der Straße auch mal Verkehr oder wart ihr die einzigen, die unterwegs waren?

    Und für den Hotelkomplex habe ich auch noch eine Vorschlag: da könnte man prima ein Sandkraftwerk draus machen.


  • Florian (Flo Li Anh,

    Genau Ba Lli: Sandkraftwerk… aus Sand (SiO2) mach Si ("neun neuner") dann laufen zumindest die Rechner rund…


  • Christoph

    Florian (Flo Li Anh, ้–‹่Šฑ): Ja, der Kleine ist aber selbst auch gut!
    Freddy: ๆ•ฆ็…Œ is an absolutely fantastic place – please go visit it if you find the time!
    Hermann: Cola.
    Patrick: Makes you really wanna pay your toll, eh?
    Marc: Er singt jetzt viel besser.
    Barry aka Ba Lli: Haben erst mal noch andere Sachen vor. Auf der Straße waren natürlich Autos. Wir haben sogar ein paar Fahrradfahrer gesehen.


  • Kevin

    China-made bikes are so poorly made they fall apart quickly. They are cheap but within a week they look like they are years old. Ever look at one of those big bike racks in China and tried to find a single bike that wasn't rusted and falling apart?

    Question – did you have to pay the toll when you rolled through the toll station?


  • Christoph

    Kevin: I heard that ็ŒŽ็‹— makes pretty good bikes – and we didn't have to pay any toll of course.


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