Pakistan – China 2014. Day 9: Tashkurgan – Karakul Lake

3rd of July, 20149 Tashkurgan - Lake Kalakul

Click on image to see map

Back in the road. Cloudy weather upon us, some wind, the saddlebags full of food (just in case) and off we went. First kilometers in China!

Tashkurgan is a very strange day by day, just the same as what it was by night. Huge wide streets, lots of people doing nothing, nice local dresses on women and hard looks on men. Still, it felt great to finally discover China.

First kilometers were some nice downhill ones through lots of random places (specially random were the hotels by the road); then some few more came uphill. Through a small gorge. Everything was the colour of clay, from the mountains to the sky. Nice, probably because it was also different. Nothing to do with Pakistan.

After that gorge the place opens again and the kilometers turn long. Huge neverending straight lines form the road, in the middle of a not-so-special valley. We crossed some.towns where there were, maybe, some shops, but we couldn’t see them. Obviously, they were nothing but places to sleep and nothing else.

The wind was VERY strong against us at the very beginning and turned into tail wind later on.

After km 45 aprox everything dissapears and you’re left alone in the middle of the road. The road, by the way, turns slowly upwards (but the strong tail wind helped us lots!!).

There’s a factory with some small shops around km 65. Go use it if needed!!

The pass itself was very easy due to the wind. It felt very cold though, cold enough to miss the heat from Pakistan (well, no, not that cold). The view from the top is very nice, and everything gets nicer once you start going downhill. Trust me, it’s worth going through those previous boring kilometers to find this!! Honest!!

The initial steep downhill and the later 25 flat/downhill kilometers are superb. The feeling is that this is the kind of scenary we’ll find in the Pamirs (if we manage to make it there!!). Enjoy!

And finally, the lake. The lake is great, and the surroundings are even better. One of the best places along the trip, by far. Locals are very nice too, and even though they’ll get close to offer some accomodation, it’s easy to turn them down with a smile. They never came around at night and it made camping there a great experience. Again, possibly the best view of this trip.



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