I stacked up on hot nang before I left:
Then it was a long hot walk through the desert, with houses to dry grapes and make raisins left and right:
Water means vegetation out here:
…as well as the lack thereof:
The whole region is inhabited mainly by Uyghurs, who build some picturesque houses of worship in their little villages:
I was going to visit a place called Tuyugou, which is a large gorge, so I had to leave the highway and walk through some countryside sceneries…
…until I arrived at the place:
The sky was so fresh and so blue above:
The green vegetation in the folds of the gorge looked almost like little patches of mold:
And then, at the end of the gorge, there were little caves with Buddhist murals…
…and a Muslim graveyard:
I found a place to stay in an Uyghur household:
And then I took a guided tour around the little village:
Albert von LeCoq had been staying in one of these houses around the turn of the 20th century:
…during that time a large portion of the local artifacts mysteriously vanished from the premises, only to later reappear in some renown European museums.
Some of the ancient structure was still there though:
And so were the caves, only visitors weren’t allowed in them:
One thing that I found almost unbelievable – there is a mausoleum on these grounds that apparently has the remains of one of Mohammed’s own disciples in it:
They say it is one of Islam’s seven holy lands.
One out of seven, and I find it here.