If you take a look at the profile of this day it may look like an easy one. Don’t think so. No unless you’re reading this in 2017 or something.
The day started ok. Sad to leave the lake but through a great downhill road. It then got flat and full of small ups and downs and full of head wind so it wasn’t that nice for a long time. A cloudy weather didn’t let us enjoy the views neither. It was close to rain very often.
Some roadworks stopped us for a while before we reached a lake (or was it a dam?!?), that made one of the highlights of the day (around km 35). Blue waters and mountains that looked like huge sanddunes. At the end of the lake there are some shops where you can buy food or “jewelry”. There were even some tourists.
At that point the downhill returned… or should had returned, to be more precise.
There’re some MASSIVE roadworks going on on this area. Really massive. That means the road is broken and you must cycle/drive through an alternative muddy and bumpy road that the thousands of trucks pass by every day, making it a little hell for cyclists (and also for cars). It’s hard and tiring to cycle through there, when it should be a nice downhill through a nice canyon. Be careful!
By the time we reached Ghez we were covered in dust and mud. I didn’t even take a single picture of this area, even if it’s really nice.
We expected Ghez to be a real town but is nothing more than police check point where you must show your passport and, if unlike, open your bags again. We were not that unlucky. We had some drinks and kept going downhill.
There are still some more works down from Ghez, but not so many. The road, still, doesn’t really feel downhill and it’s hard to enjoy. When they finish this megaconstruction the area might be nice (I’m not very sure,.still); until then…
Roadworks finish the second you leave the gorge and reach the flat area that will take you all the way to Kashgar. Small towns start to appear as well, and the desert, specially the desert. This is a completely different area and felt mkre Chinese than everything we had seen before. It’s really easy to cycle here (we still had tail winds) and the sucession of houses makes you feel you’re cycling through one long town. Shops are everywhere and so are green areas in the middle of this desert.
Don’t expect to find any hotel here, but there’re lots of good camping spots just outside of the main road; look for them, you won’t be disappointed! And if in need, you can make it to Kashgar quite easily. But we left that for next day; enjoying dinner in one of these small towns seemed (and was) like a better idea.