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May 24th 2007
Published: May 24th 2007
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Left Bishkek where we lost Noel and Nigel, they will be sorely missed! 6 new people came on , all guys, drove back to Kochkor to break the long travel towards the Chinese border. We stayed in the same homestays it was really cold and miserable, it rained a bit. We had dinner outside, very chilly, i can't wait for some fine weather to appear. The next day we drove to some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen on this country so far, the Tian Shan Range is just awesome, went through the Dolon Pass in a small town called Naryn, then at the outskirts of the town a place called At-Bashy we stopped for lunch, gorgeous hills of different colors, green meadows, horses and sheeps everywhere. We drove and follow the Tian Shan mountains for a bit along the Arpa valley finally stopping at a really cool valley surrounded by hills/mountains, the place is Tash Rabat and we camped there for the night, a really cold night for most of us at 3130 meters, a few felt the altitude, I did not really sleep well and had a slight headache but that was it, but some people

had worse. Very early start, 5 am woke up and gathered all our things had breakfast and packed up everything, threw out all fruits and fresh produce and by 6:40 am we are ready for the Chinese frontier. There was a checkpoint we went through which was fairly easy, then drove for about an hour to get to the Kyrgyz end of the border, we were processed inside the building, it was windy and cold.

We pushed through the Torugart Pass(3700+ meters),then a checkpoint we have to stop and wait for our Chinese guide John, we waited for almost an hour as we later found out it was lunch time on the Chinese side hence no one was coming through from their side, finally John came and we said goodbye to Tommie, who by the way will part with us with lots of English slangs and swear words written down for him to use in his next encounter.By the way the Torugart pass was not as I imagined it to be, just a plain pass nothing spectacular,no drama! So we drove another 30 mins to yet another checkpoint, this time they came up the truck and checked our passports, randomly picked 2 day bags, mine and Clive's quickly went through it, and one pack at the back, this time it was Kit's, then off we go again. 2 hours away from the Chinese customs! As we were driving the scenery became a little bit drier but nonetheless spectacular too bad we are not allowed to take photos, but it was through some really weird landscapes. We got to the proper processing entry point for China finally, we got processed and surprisingly the truck came through fairly quickly, it was done in almost just 2 hours. Then off we went to see China!!

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