I knew we were in trouble when the driver started swearing in Kazakh. I don’t speak Kazakh, I didn’t have to. Fear is universal.
When we first planned our journey we had decided to try and get a bus from Urumqi into Kazakhstan. We told ourselves, it would be the only time we paid for transport. Now that we’d arrived in Urumqi, having hitchhiked 9’163 km, it felt strange contemplating a bus journey. I won’t lie, the idea of
“I think I fancy some lamb tonight,” said Michael, as we sat down to eat in celebration of the time we’d made up. The waitress came over and handed us each a Chinese menu and the usual game ensued where we pointed at random symbols and the waitress acted out the dominant animal in the
As we were eating breakfast we picked up a newspaper report of the destruction the floods had caused in Thailand. Over 500 people had died and 2.5 million people’s lives had been disrupted. It was amazing to think we’d only missed it by a day or two. As usual, we had to walk many miles
Chengdu is a huge city of over 13 million people making it nearly double the population of London. It was strange for Michael and I, humble folk of the Shire, to have gone through so many mega-cities and it was hard to distinguish between them. Chengdu, though, seemed different. Judging by the advertising boards that
Thankfully the ride in the death car only lasted about 30 minutes. I’ve never been so terrified in a car before or since and at one point I genuinely prepared my body for the crash that seemed inevitable. The maniac skidded his car to a halt at a junction off the highway and we both
“Are you alright?” Michael asked me “Yeah” “Why are you walking like that?” “Like what?” “Like you’ve shit yourself” “Heat rash. Too much heat, sweat and walking. Need to find some baby powder” “That’s nasty” Despite the considerable discomfort of my heat rash, we were really happy to be entering China. It was a country