Looking ahead: Westward on the Silk Road

We have now reached the well travelled Silk Road Route. Our route to date has been essentially travelling north from Bangkok. We know of no other cycling blog on the route we’ve just travelled. The same cannot be said of the more popular Beijing to Paris route made popular by the 1907 CarRally (see for example Heather Burge’s blog ). So for this next stage we are much more aware of what lies ahead.

A minor problem is that our route will no longer fit on the side bar of this blog. So I give below our route to date (simplified) and our proposed route in the next ~2 months. We have decided to take the northern route, missing Qinghai Lake and Xining, mainly because it is at lower elevation and hence warmer. We are travelling this early in the year because we want to leave the Tarim Basin (Taklakaman Desert) before the sandstorm season in June. We are planning to visit Dunhuang to see the Mogao Caves. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient “sculptural sites” of China.

A glance at the map might indicate we propose to travel as far in the next two months as we have done in the past (nearly) three. The map is misleading and we don’t propose to increase our pace; the terrain ahead is flatter and the roads straighter than those of our route travelled so far.

C

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