Tashkurgan, China
N 037° 46.797 E 075° 14.048 ->
Today: 50 °F ( +10 °C)
25 Apr 2017
26498 km

After breakfast we walked over to the customs guarded parking to get our cars. But there was some kind of paper work missing and we had to wait all day until it was done. Rahim, who was in a really bad shape yesterday got even worse today and had to go to the hospital. They told him he had altitude sickness. Yesterday we climbed 2 000 meters in a couple of hours and had to spend 6,5 hour on 4 700 meters. That is like begging for altitude sickness. Tashkurgan with immigration and customs is on 3 070 meters. Rahim should have gone down to lower altitude to prevent the altitude sickness from escalating. But we had to finish the immigration and customs procedure. At the hospital he got oxygen and medication before he released himself and went back to the hotel.

At 4 PM we went back to the customs parking to try to get our cars out – again. This time it worked. But before we could leave we had to weigh the cars, then we continued the customs to get them x-rayed – again. Exactly the same thing as we did up in the pass yesterday, but that didn’t count. On top of everything their x-ray machine didn’t work properly, and we had to do it again and again for hours before we were finished. We got more and more mad, but the customs officers could not understand why we got so angry. We have been doing this border passing administration for 35 hours by now! When our cars finally was released it was too late to go to Kashgar, and we had to spend one more night in Tashkurgan.

While Rahim was in the hospital Bert took his motorbike through the customs procedure. Also Rahims bike had to be x-rayed and weighed. We need to travel as a group in China with our guide. It was not possible to leave Rahim behind to catch up with us later when he was well again. Rahim was still in such a bad shape it was not possible for him to ride his bike to Kashgar tomorrow. We loaded his bike on to a pickup truck this means that he will have another day of rest in the car.

Tashkurgan, China
N 037° 46.797 E 075° 14.048 ->
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
26 Apr 2017
26498 km

One would think that to fill petrol is an easy thing to do – but so not in China. At the petrol station they didn’t want to let us in at first, but after five minutes of arguing we got in. Our guide had to wait outside. And at the pump they didn’t want to sell us petrol at first, because we didn’t have a Chinese id-card to register the buy on. But again after some arguing and talking to the manager we finally could fill up our tank and pay cash.

After that we hit the road to Kashgar. We traveled on a 3 000 meters plattau, surrounded by snow capped mountains and emerald green lakes of crystal clear water. Beautiful! There are a lot of yaks, horses, sheeps, goats and even camels roaming around freely in the mountains. Bert and David were chased by a camel fed up with the close up photos they were taking.

Before entering Kashgar we unloaded Rahims motorbike to let him drive the last part himself. It is illegal to keep a motorbike on a pickup in town. Yeah, we come across many strange and completely stupid rules all the time here in China.

We checked in at our hotel 2 PM. The hotel was great, overlooking the city center. We roamed around town. Now we feel like we are in China for the first time, the architecture, the wide streets and the statues looks Chinese. In the evening all of us went to the night market to get something to eat. We found a lot of interesting stuff like sheep’s head, stomach and other unidentified dishes.

Kashgar, China
N 039° 27.963 E 075° 59.245 ->
Today: 82.4 °F ( +28 °C)
27 Apr 2017
26773 km

This morning we went to the border between China and Kyrgystan - Tourgart Pass. On the way some of us needed to fill up our cars. At the first petrol station they refused to sell petrol to us. On the next one we got lucky. When leaving the petrol station Henry & Annas car refused to start, the anti theft system had locked the engine. We had to wait for a couple of hours on the highway before they managed to get the car running again. We were all in a hurry to get to the border before they close for their usual 3 hour lunch break!

The new guide we got today was great. He managed to make us pass the one kilometer long line to the border and to get us in to immigration and customs even though they already had closed the gates to prepare for lunch break. All the custom and immigration formalities took only one hour and we could continue the 100 kilometers up to the border pass at 4 200 meters.

The absolute last thing that happened before we left China was that we got the Chinese license plates for our cars and our Chinese drivers license. Really, what is the point of this? We have to pay a lot of money to get these, and we get them less than two minutes before we leave the country. Ridiculous!