If you will, please take a look at the map above: see the knot in the long red line?
I said good-bye to Lake Sayram early in the morning, when only the birds and the dogs were awake:
Then I entered the first tunnel:
The Caboose didn’t fit on the curb, so I had to walk on the road itself, which rather sucked.
But I was early, and there were not many cars around just yet.
People had been telling me about a huge bridge ahead. It was called Guozigou Bridge 果子沟大桥 (meaning “Fruit Valley Bridge”):
And here’s how I reached it:
At the end of the video, you can probably hear my surprise. The people had been right – this bridge was massive:
I walked around on top of it:
Took a video of the Caboose doing her thing:
And a video of myself bla-ing into the camera:
Remember the knot in the red line? It is just here. Standing on top of the bridge, I could see the way that I would have to take:
But first, there was another tunnel:
[Note the twisted look of my right shoe? This was probably not the best fit for my feet to start with, and I honestly hated walking downhill in these shoes. It was just painful.]
After the tunnel, the road made a wide turn and took me back down from under the bridge:
And it was just mountains left and right:
Trees and waterfalls:
And paper models of policemen:
About halfway down I ran into a cyclist from Spain, I think Victor was his name:
He had the legs of an Olympian and the heart of an optimist. It was all about happy smiles with him.
Then the landscapes slowly changed:
Until they looked barren again:
I saw yurts that looked Mongolian next to log cabins that looked Russian:
There was a stream that was completely red:
I thought it was a bit creepy:
But apparently plants could live next to it:
And horses could drink from it:
All this time, I wasn’t as alone as I might have thought I would be.
These guys (2 Uyghurs, 2 Han-Chinese) stopped for a chat and a picture:
There were herders driving their sheep down the freeway:
There were people in huts next to the road…
…selling wild honey:
There was a family who operated a restaurant where I had eaten a few days ago:
And then the mountains turned into hills…
I passed a final toll gate and entered a village:
Sat down with these guys and had two bottles of cold water:
And then I found a small shop that rented out back rooms.
I had walked almost 40k, all of which was downhill (from 2200m to about 1000m), my feet hurt like hell, I was tired and I could hardly walk anymore.
But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t take any group pictures.