Turn Up The Heat

 

 

 

We got some great news at breakfast. At 2am, a truck driver had called our Chinese guide, Serena, to say that he had found Angelica’s top box along the road and that all her documents were safe.  Had they not been located, Angelica would have had to fly 2,000 miles to Beijing to get her passport reissued at the German Embassy then begin the time consuming process of getting replacement China, Kazakhstan, and Russia visas.  In essence, that would have been the end of her motorcycle trip since she would never have been able to catch up with the group.  This is fantastic news not only for Angelica but for the entire Discover Our Earth Expedition team.

I’m not sure if it had anything to do with yesterday’s potholed road but this morning my front tire was pretty flat.  Neither Jeff nor I could see any nail or other offending protrusion so he pumped the tire up and off we rode.

 

A few minutes down the highway we passed a truck full of  “Hami” watermelons.  These yellow skinned, red fleshed, juicy bursts of flavor bring fame to this region.  We’ve had them on many breakfast buffets.

Vehicle transport trailers are quite a site on the highway.  Even trucks are piled on the carriers two abreast. With cars, they load them two-wide above with a single row below.  I don’t know how those carriers could possibly meet other trucks on roads such as we endured yesterday.

 

Our roads and scenery were delightful today.  We even saw camels!  The Gobi Desert which spans this part of China into Mongolia, is home to 2 hump, or Bactrian camels.  They are much more rare than the Dromedary, single hump, camels found in Africa and the Middle East.  A couple of camels were missing one of their humps.  I wonder if that’s where they got the raw ingredient for “Fried Camel Hump,” a menu item we’ve seen in this area!

 

Clay houses with square air holes are used for drying grapes to make raisins.  We saw thousandss of these structures.

 

Kevin, our Expedition leader, looked as though he was enjoying his ride as he passed us.  The challenges he has had to deal with in China have been monumental.  He sure deserves a pleasurable ride as we head into the Turpan Basin.

 

Our GPSs told the story.  The lowest point mine read was 132 ft below Sea Level.  The Turpan Basin has recorded the hottest temperature ever in China, 49 degrees Celsius, 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  We were happy that it ONLY reached 111F  today.

Larry & I appreciated Mick’s delivery of a luggage cart to our bikes in the scorching heat.

 

Drinking our first ever beer to have Arabic writing on the label beat out an optional late afternoon ride to an Ermine market as our preferred activity upon arrival in Turpan.  Even the elevators in the hotel show the Arab influence found in this area of China.

 

 

We wondered what the swimming pool warning meant when it said that “children under 14 should be leaded.”  I didn’t think that would be at all good for their health!  The oasis view from our hotel room window was very welcome in the desert.
28 Jun   Hami to Turpan  256 miles

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One Response to “Turn Up The Heat”

  1. Dale and Cindy Leppo says:

    Cathy and Larry, We were both SO excited to hear that Angelica’s trunk and documents were found! We lost our document pouch in Peru which created the same types of potential trauma (only in Spanish.) We also were incredibly fortunate that one of our co-riders saw a plastic bag on the side of the road and thought “I haven’t seen anything like that here. I wonder what it could be.” Needless to say, I bought Eric his beers for the rest of the trip. The 1DE “Guardian Angel” seems to still be at work. Best wishes for safe travels! Dale and Cindy.

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