Friday, June 26, 2009

High Hail

We woke up early only to find Husain still sick, fortunately one of our guides can ride a motorcycle, and Husain is well enough to ride in the car. We knew that the next three days we would need to cover a lot of mileage.

Our target was Wenquan over 400 km with known construction on the way. For the first 220 km it was a normal road until Nagqu where we fill up with fuel manually again and had lunch, we then followed the road to Amdo where we found many trucks parked waiting for the road to open, however they did let the motorcycles through.

So we rode until we reached where they were laying asphalt. We parked the bikes on narrow shoulder and waited until we were allowed to ride on the newly laid asphalt.

We then passed Amdo and went through a series broken roads due to construction which was the same as riding off road on gravel or at times on a rocky surface.

We past Wenquan and decided to continue since there was daylight left , we stopped briefly for prayers at 5000 meters above sea level and continued on at high altitude going through a pass above 5200 meters.

Once we were descending it started to rain lightly, then heavily, then it hailed stinging us with small pellets when we opened the visor to clear the condensation, all this while managing bad roads with potholes.

We barely reached Toutou Heyan before it got really dark, and while our guide was asking about accommodations in this really small town, a soldier came up and talked to Ali first who then directed him to our guide, the next thing we know is that we were staying at the nearby army barracks, which was cleaner and safer than any hotel in the area courtesy of the red army.