Khunjerrab Pass

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October 15th 2005
Published: October 29th 2005
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The Inevitable Flat TyreThe Inevitable Flat TyreThe Inevitable Flat Tyre

The road from Sost to the chinese border at Kunjerab Pass is not to bad. Some parts are still paved. As soon as you are in China it is only a partly frozen mud track. We had to jeeps as our transportation which is already much better than a bus. Still we had a flat tyre just ten kilometers before Tashkurgan on the chinese side.
Further up the KKH, Sost is the last town in Pakistan. From here you can buy a ticket to Tashkurgan, the first town in China. The price is rediculous high (about 23$) compared to other Pakistani Bus fees (usually 5-10$). But the Bus goes back empty to leave the people going the other way to the Chinese company (that charges even more).
Because it was late in season already, not so many people were gathering at the Pakistani coustoms. So the company decided to send two jeeps instead of the bus. Later, when we saw the road conditions on the Chinese side we were quite happy about that. I have strong doubts a bus would have made it at all.
I have the feeling, the officials at the different coustoms in Sost, at the border, and in Tashkurgan are bored to death in these days, only so little work to do. So the enjoyed having a look at the front side and the back side of all those traveler underpants they could find in the nicely stuffed backpacks of Nick, Ko How, Gu Le, and me...
The Khunjerab Pass itself is rather unspectacular. You wouldn't quite notice it if it wasn't
Camels in the WildCamels in the WildCamels in the Wild

In the highlands after Khunjerab Pass the weather got really unfriendly. Freezing cold and snow strom. But the camels living in this area grow a very good isolation.
for the big Chinese borderpost building. The landscape looks more like a high plateau than like a pass in the mountains. The altitude at the highest point is about 4900m. But this did not present a problem since we had been well above 2000m almost ten days, do not need to walk up there, and stay only until the Chinese soldier is finished with our underwear.
In China we met some long-haired camels troting through the snow before we finally saw Tashkurgan at the end of the plateau. But it still had to wait for some time, just ten kilometers before the town we had our flat tire, something inevitable on this road we had been told.

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5



Up to the remote city of Tashkurgan reaches the power of the Chinese empire. Early in the morning the propaganda musik starts to waken the mostly non-chinese locals. The scenery around Tashkurgan is really awesome.
Tashkurgan FortTashkurgan Fort
Tashkurgan Fort

Tashkurgan has always been a military outpost. The fort is one of the relicts of this history. In the backround one can see the Karakorum towards Khunjerab.
Xinjiang BreadXinjiang Bread
Xinjiang Bread

Although already in China, Xinjiang province, the locals are mostly non-chinese. So the local bread reminds more of middle east than of other chinese food. And the oven is similar to the ovens in Pakistan.

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