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Published: September 6th 2008
Today was the day to leave 'I heart China' ... 'Go China' ... all behind
. Today was the day to make the move on into Kyrgyzstan. We arrived at the Chinese border at around 10.00am. It was a stinking hot day at the border so made our way quickly off the truck and into the relative cool of the Customs Office. The Border isn't one of the most used in China so it didn't seem that busy. Everyone was getting processed. They struggled a bit with my passport as I went to Tibet a couple of years ago and they could find the entry visa but not the exit stamp. (I later remembered that we were on a group visa - so manged to clear that one up). Moving the people through customs didn't present as a problem but getting the truck cleared took a bit of time .... well it only took time due to the fact that 10 minutes after the official started looking at the truck it was time for that 3 hr lunch break! (yes I am in Kyrgy now - I can write that).
The three hour wait for lunch to be over really was
only half time. 7hrs later we cleared customs. The 7hrs were all about amusing ourselves ... we played a bit of hacky sac (or keepy upy as the Brits called it!) until we were asked to move around the corner as we were into the view of 3 cameras where we were playing (I don't htink they thought we were very good). We then visited duty free and Lucy and I sprayed each other with the foulest smelling perfume we could find (a big mistake) - the rest of duty free was pretty much Vodka. Most of the time we spent turning the no man's land just beyond the sign into our own 'stan'. It officiallyt became Bytzchistan (sorry if I spelt it wrong Lucy). We decided our national dress (pink lycra and furry boots), our national sport (synchronised swimming after seeing so much of it on Chinese Television on the Olympics Channels); our flag and later an excellent National Anthem that Lucy developed during a pee stop!
So we finally got going at 6pm. The Kyrgyzstan Border was another 2hrs up the Valley (Officially now in Bytzchistan). Apparently it is really Chinese territory as they didn't want to
put their border crosing at altitude. We moved through the beautiful Tourgart Pass to get to the Kyrgy Border. Coming out of flat country we were suddenly into beautiful mountainous terrain with goats, sheep and rivers again.
We got to the Kyrgy border at around 9pm. It was quite dark and the border had a power blackout so the guys came onto the truck and processed us from there. We were now at around 2700m. We weren't allowed to camp before the next checkpoint which was another 70km away. We drove for another couple of hours and pitched camp in amoungst a whole lot of trucks as soon as we could. It was cold and dark (and 11.30pm) so most of us just went to bed.
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