Trip Start Mar 23, 2012
35Trip End Apr 22, 2012
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Where I stayed
We passed two checkpoints and two mountain passes, where I kept my eyes shut (over the passes, not at the checkpoints), where the barrier-less road meant a small skid would result in certain death. David's running commentary, which included asking the driver to hold onto the steering wheel, didn't help. It appeared the driver was driving with the car out of gear, just using the brakes to slow us down. When we got to the bottom, the brakes actually had smoke coming off them. I'm glad I didn't know that while we were driving.
We finally found Sache aka Yarkand aka Yarkant after a 10km detour through dusty lanes flanked with pink almond blossom, green strips of barley and poplars just coming into leaf. After three weeks of brown rocks, it was a feast for the eyes. As the road got busier, we overtook entire families on motorbikes or on the back of a cart, pulled by a donkey. A man was rather rashly having a conversation on his mobile phone in the middle of the fast lane.
We had a shower for the first time in two weeks, which was very welcome. After a pleasant meal at a local Uigur restaurant, we retired to bed, where we got to listen to the girly nightclub booming music at us from four floors below.