A last kiss to Karakoram


Travel, Xinjiang

July 12 The sun is out already by 4AM. I lie awake for sometime in my yurt. Both Jorg and Birdy are still asleep. Inside the yurt it is pitch black, but I can see little sparkles of light through the netting. I have a few quilts on me, and I feel a bit hot, […]

November 12, 2011

Mustagh Ata


Travel, Xinjiang

It’s not easy to miss Mustagh Ata. This majestic mountain towers over Karakul Lake, a guardian of its peace. Surprisingly, for one of the tallest mountains in the world, Mustagh Ata looks pretty small. Both Jorg and I wonder why. We are already at an altitude of 3500m – is it because of that Mustagh […]

September 24, 2011

Karakoram Highway and Karakul Lake


Travel, Xinjiang

July 10th It’s time to go through the usual rounds again – up early, have no breakfast, check out of the Qini Bagh, and rush to the Kashgar bus stand where we wait for tickets. Jorg is unwell, suffering from a bout of food poisoning. There is a hilarious incident when Jorg thinks that a […]

September 18, 2011

Kashgar Again


Travel, Xinjiang

July 9th It’s still drizzling in the desert when we pack up and leave. I tried running before we left. It’s easier now that the sand is wet. In around 2 hours, we reach Kashgar, which strangely is bathed in hot sunshine. We laugh at the irony. It’s raining in the desert but hot in […]

September 4, 2011

Desert Adventures


Travel, Xinjiang

Here was the plan. Pitch tent somewhere in the Taklamakan desert. Grill some meat and a potato or two. Have some wine. Lay back and see the countless stars that a desert sky provides you with. Wouldn’t that be the life? Life, as it turns out, is more than you dream of. Even when the […]

August 24, 2011

The Taklamakan


Xinjiang

July 8th Kashgar’s sun signs a bright midday-kind of heat even though it’s early morning. The skies are crystal blue, and today would be the Karakoram Highway. This is what I was looking forward to – the entire reason why I chose Xinjiang once I realized that Tibet would not be possible this time. We […]

August 20, 2011

Kashgar


Travel, Xinjiang

July 7th Kashgar or Kashi – this famed city of the Silk Route. It’s history is beguiling, but the city isn’t. It’s a city that is closer to Baghdad than Beijing. It’s a city where you can see snow-capped mountains in the morning, and then the vastness of the Taklamakan Desert in the afternoon. It’s […]

August 17, 2011

Chaos in Korla


Travel, Xinjiang

July 5th and 6th I refused to rouse myself from the cozy cool environs of John’s Cafe as Turpan’s torpid heat envelops me. Jorg and Birdy are not to be deterred and go to a nearby mosque, on cycles no less. I glug a can of Diet Coke, and allow myself to wilt in the […]

August 13, 2011

Sightseeing Turpan


Travel, Xinjiang

July 4th Unlike the hazy, cloudy day that greeted us yesterday in  Turpan, today, as I draw the curtains across and peep  outside, blue skies smile back. I can see the bazaar from here – but despite it being 8AM, the shops and the market, restaurants are all shut. I puzzle over this. In Chengdu, […]

August 9, 2011