Tommy Tourist to the Taklamakan Desert

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June 25th 2013
Published: June 25th 2013
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Bustling village lifeBustling village lifeBustling village life

On the road to Taklamakan
My little team and I have had 4 very intensive days them guiding me through the daily lives of some of the 47 different nationalities that live in the Kashgar Region, a wonderful cultural experience. It was time for a gentler Tommy Tourist pace, including little tests of Bo’s vast collection of accumulated knowledge, unfortunately have been getting quite a lot of the eye rolling thing, I think I am a little slow for this lot.

A couple of Uyghur men who’s company motto is to ”exceed ones expectations” and they have certainly done that.

Both Muslim men, Abdul Guide, for 9 years, is a very devout 26 year old five times a day prayers if he can. A young man with more than his share of .tragedy who’s work is what keeps him going. Abdul Driver, 36 year old married with one child, who’s dream is to perhaps drive long distance tour buses somewhere in the world, he has certainly handled the crazy traffic and roads immaculately.

1st Tommy tourist day we were headed for the Taklamakan Desert, one of, if not the largest deserts in China. What were you going to do in the desert Bowen? I thought we were going to look at a bit of mining, nomads, camel ride etc. We ended up at a Tourist trap, with entrance fee, pay for donkey cart ride, swimming lake, camel rides, desert carts and a viewing platform to look at an edge of the desert. We tended to hang at an open air restaurant nibbling and people watching, right up my street. The trip home included deviations to try and take photos of some of the massive building programs going on.

That night Abdul loaded me on the back of his scooter and we went looking for a restaurant that was featuring music and dancing. After 4 restaurant visits and what I considered a death defying ride around the city we found a likely spot. One place we checked had too many rowdy Chinese and modern folk music catering for them, no not for us. Our choice had Uyghur music and lots of locals getting into it, a few too many beer drinkers and women with uncovered heads for my devout guide, so while we waited for the food to come I watched the dancing while my friend went to a local Mosque to pray. The food was OK and the dancing was great, my highlight was being asked by a man to dance, when in Rome I thought, and Abdul reckoned I acquitted myself with panache.

One dance was fine and when the disco started we were outta there, with an evening tour of the city on the scooter, a beautiful evening with great light shows and evening street life.

The next day was a short drive into the mountains for a 1 hour walk up to Shipton’s Arch, a spectacular piece of natural engineering, re photo, that the previous Gobi Marches utilised during their races when they were held in the Kashgar area, it looked to be a fairly perilous ascent.

Saturday and Sunday will be devoted to the rich, scented, busy, friendly streets of Kashgar. Monday will fly to Chengdu to the Bros’, get passport in for the Mongolian visa, as we are hopefully off to the Nadam Festival and inaugural Polo tournament to be played there, so between Chengdu and Polo in Mongolia we should find something interesting to write about.

Will see you in the streets of Kashgar first.

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Thank goodness

25th June 2013

Go you :)
I am so loving your adventure updates..! Lots of love xxx

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