apologies to the Caboose

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Slight change of plans.

People had been telling me about the REAL canyon. It wasn’t here where I was. It was somewhere far away, and it was supposed to be awesome.

So I left the place with the nice trees and the nice feeling of safety and got back on the road:


I crossed the river that was forming the canyon and some of the wetlands that came along with it:


Then I ran into a bunch of Uyghur gentlemen who were apparently celebrating something:

Uyghur gentlemen

I never found out what it was, but they were very friendly. They gave me bread and tomatoes, and they toasted with vodka and I toasted with water.

Then they got into their car and drove off, and I was left to wonder at the shards of glass on the ground. Apparently quite a few people had celebrated in this place before:

party place

Then came an uphill slope. It was so steep that the large trucks on the road next to me had to shift into first gear and were sometimes even slower than I was. There was much roaring of engines and I saw many a pitiful face from the drivers.

But we all got to the top eventually.

Then there was this sign:

canyon sign

The canyon was near.

I left the asphalt and got onto this gravel road:


It wasn’t a nice gravel road like you would imagine (or like I had imagined). It was bumpy, and the gravel was thick:


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It went on like this for more than 20km. Sometimes it even looked like a veritable desert:

desert-like scenery

Oh, and there were cars sometimes. I counted five of them on that gravel road. Five cars and two cyclists from Argentina.

And there was no shade in sight.

I took a lunch break where I had some corn and some bread next to the road. And I made an exciting discovery:


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Okay, maybe it wasn’t all that exciting.

After hours of walking I reached a particularly lonely looking ticket office:

ticket office

The guy that worked there took down my passport credentials and had me sign something, then he saw the Caboose and started laughing. Was I really traveling with THAT?

We decided to take a photo together:

ticket dude

He strongly advised me against descending into the canyon though, at least not with the Caboose.

Why? I asked.

“The road is not that good.” he said.

And he turned out to be right:

bad road in Charyn canyon

I came up with this plan where the Caboose (having no brakes) and I (having no brain) would crisscross the bad road down into the canyon, thereby avoiding gaining too much speed.

Well, we failed:


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I felt terrible for the Caboose. She had been so brave all the way, and here I was subjecting her to things that she clearly didn’t like. What a selfish bastard I was!

We fell two times. But we eventually made it to a place where the road was a bit better:

in the canyon

(You can see that at this point I was carrying the backpack again. This was partly because I wanted to make the Caboose less topheavy and partly because I wanted her to know that I, too, was willing to carry my share.)

The canyon turned out to be quite nice:

Charyn canyon

The Caboose looked like she was doing okay:

Caboose in the canyon

And when we got there the light was just right:


There was a sort of “eco park” at the bottom of the canyon. They rented out yurts that were a bit expensive and bungalows that were pretty cheap. I took a bungalow, then I got something to eat in a small café:


Finally, I was really in the canyon:


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I decided to stay here for a few days, give the Caboose and myself time to rest and just take it easy.

It was already dark when I was done with my dinner, and all I could hear was the sound of the river and crickets all around.

That’s when I looked up:


And saw the universe.

  • 飛天駱駝



  • Rob D

    Lieber Christoph: Sonnige Grüße aus Bad Tölz! As Stefan mentioned in your last post’s comments section, you handled The Gun Scare very well / better than most, so I doubt you need my advice. I’d try lowering The Caboose down a steep slope like this. Tie a short rope or straps to the handles and hold that while you let the Caboose lead the way downhill. Keep boots perpendicular to the trail so that you can brake effectively. I did this in deep winter with a Pulk sled and it worked great. Made me feel intelligent for a few minutes. Safe and happy travels!


  • Kevin

    Wow. Did you see the Persied Meteor shower?


  • Cher

    老雷 你好厉害 这么辛苦还在坚持 不过辛苦过后总有美景回报


  • yanzhang



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