03.09.2013 - 06.09.2013 30 °C
We got in to Kashgar a couple of days ago. Kashgar is a small city (300 000 people) in far NW China. It is wedged between the desert and the mountains so it has a real mix of races, foods and customs. We have been staying in the Uyghur district which means lots of mudbrick houses, confusing alleyways and not much spoken Chinese (they speak a language which is more like Turkish). The old alleyways and buildings were great to explore - but not for much longer, as they are being rapidly redeveloped and will probably be all gone in 6 months.
The first night we got in we went out to the night markets which is basically a heap of street vendors selling food from small carts. I was probably a bit boring, avoiding the goat heap stew and the offal soup. As it turned out we probably would have been better going a bit more adventuristic as Susanne got food poisoning that night. Fortunately it seems to have finished now.
We ended up spending more time in Kashgar than we intended. Students go back to school and university this week and next week which as meant that trains and buses are booked out for 2 weeks anywhere there is a bottle neck - such as at Kashgar. After investigating various solutions (hiring a scooter, taking a series of buses and cars through the desert route and hitch hiking) we have found a relatively easy option; private mini-van to a small town with no students and then catch the train from there. In the meantime we will kill some time by travelling partway down the Karakoram Highway past the Pamir to the Himalaya.