This is our third day in Almaty. On Tuesday we got our Uzbek visas, and yesterday and today we did bike shop, post office, and currency exchange errands, as well as much needed DIY bike maintenance. A knowledgeable mechanic measured our chain wear and deemed our drive trains to be road worthy for some time to come, so we haven’t changed chains or cassettes. We’ll surely do both in Turkey … if we get that far.
We are both very tired. We sense burnout is upon us. 8000km in a little over 4 months is more than we’d ever imagined we’d do, but we haven’t been good at stopping. Part of this lack of adequate rest is that oasis towns in Western China aren’t really places one wants to spend more than a day. In a few days, we should be at Lake Issy Kul in Kyrgyzstan, which we understand may have yurts, cabins, or camping possibilities, and may even be inviting for a swim. We’ll try to stop, because we need a longer break. Stopping in Almaty doesn’t make much sense, apart from finishing errands.
We’ve uploaded a set of photos of our travels across Xinjiang, China. Desert travel may not be hilly, but it is challenging in other ways: Desolate landscapes, long days, strong winds, and extremes of temperature.