Sunday, April 30, 2006

Pretty pictures from the Tibetan Plateau crossing

Golmud has such a pleasant wangba [internet cafe] that I thought I might spend my day off uploading some more pictures.

At the Kunlun Shankou (Kunlun pass), 4767 metres. The monument is to the Kekexili Nature Reserve, home to the endangered chiru (Tibetan antelope), wild ass, and other beasts.

Training for next year's expedition: first man to cycle solo to the South Pole.

Gravelly moonscape on the track between Qumahe and Budongquan

Bike takes a breather while I cook some noodles.

Riding into a storm on the road to Budongquan.

Desert plant on the road off the plateau down towards Golmud.


  1. Ed!

    Not a word on your next part of the trip?
    I guess I have to repeat yesterdays warning in case "someone" would find it interesting.

    The only way you can make up for lost time and get back to England this year is by cycling the Golmud-Donhuang-Urumqi road.

    Then you can get your visas in Urumqi,Almaty and Bishkek and be back on track timevise in Kyrgystan or Tajikistan.

    No need to go to Beijing for visas.

    Your original plan was to cycle towards Kashgar from Golmud.
    A few weeks ago I was in the shop reading a little bit about the road/track in the Tibetan Handbook, Footprint.

    To Urt Moron you have 210 km with bad road. There may be some people there working in a bauxitt mine or something.
    From there you have about 600 km to the next inhabited place at Ruoiqang or what it is called.
    600 km with very bad road/track. With hardly any cars.
    "Tallabomba" had to take the bus,so every few days there may be a bus.
    There are many names along the way but they are supposedly only placenames with nobody living there. The book is mentioning one 200 km after Urt Moron(!)(only if you go) it is called Manganui or something. No body lives there.
    The whole 800 km from Golmud to Ruoqiang are arid with hardly any rivers crossing it.
    So if you still plan to go this way,how are you planning to survive?
    By stopping each and every driver and beg for water and later on also food? (Cheating in my book,but far better than dying.)
    But what if there are no cars for a few days? In temperatures over 30C. Do you stop and wait for rescue with a few liters of water left? Or do you just keep on cycling until you are badly dehydrated with no water left,hoping a car would pass before it is too late?

    And then the book mentioned someting that the military was in charge of the road.
    Since it is bad for image to have foreigners dying in China,you should not be surpriced if a military truck comes by and you are ordered in.
    Let out again where they think it is safe. Leaving you with a gaping hole of several hundred km. By then you probably would be happy to be saved from something that was becoming a deadly adventure,but later on in life it would start to eat you that you did not complete your Line.

    Or even vorce: you would go on pretending you cycled it all and then you really would be messing with your thoughts. Like Ffiona did. And she had a very good reason not to make her walk across parts of the US.

    By aiming for Urumqi you will be free to go. I have heard about police stopping foreign cyclists in Xinjiang in summertime. But not on this road in May.

    And also on this road you would be riding proud and selfsupported.

    With the intention to get back to England this year.



  2. Ed,
    How's your various odds and ends, feet, fingers as the last we saw of the foot it was looking all bones and no meat. Has the change of diet helped at all with circulation? Actually what are you eating out there in the uh-lu?

    Perhaps you should write a cookery book as well? Also can you bung me down for a copy, I need a copy of your adventures on my bookshelf as long as it has plenty of pictures in it aswell.

    Keep yourself out of harms way enjoy civilisation and everything it has to offer.

    best regards from darkest surrey

  3. PG, man

    Come on, you're a psyclist yourself. Think a bit about cyclists' psychology.

    Ed probably decided long ago to go to Dunhuang, but the more you bang on about the "killer" road to Moron, the more tempted he will be to try it out - just to wind you up.

    Any gloves will do.