3 augustus 2008
After one week of spending time on Chinese grounds, we finally feel a bit like we entered the Chinese culture. nervous we awaited the bordercrossing; our final country, our final month, our final goal. It felt a bit strange, after four months of cycling, we have only like 3 weeks cycling left. China is big, the Olympics important (for China but also for us) and the visa is short. We have 30 days to get from west to east, and to be hounest, we are not going to make that just on the bike.
Three days in Kashgar will give us some time to come to terms of leaving Central Asia and slowly change our Kyrgis speech for the Chinese. Xinjiang is a part of China where you wander around the streets asking yourself where the Chinese culture exists. It has a strong history with the Uygur people, and today that connection still exist. We felt like we were still in Central Asia and we loved it. The city has a brilljant atmosphere where the people live on the streets during day and night. The big streets are covered with Chinese commercials, the small alleys of the old town rustle with Uygur life and Arabic influences. Two worlds so far from each other and still so close.
After Kashgar we will definitely leave our beloved Central Asia culture and dive into the real China. Three days in the train will bring us a few thousands of kilometers to the east where big Chinese cities (starting with Xi'an) await us and our final weeks begin.