London to Sydney 2005 travel blog

Tower on the Great wall

A long (615km) dusty day with 180km of roadworks. However, we did reach half way to Sydney in Km! We were in a stretch of road between the Taklaman and Gobi deserts at the time and celebrated by eating a Sainsbury's fig roll from the pack of emergency en route rations that Rachel had bought for us to take. Yum yum, (better get stock in Carol, could be a run on them when we get home.) We had been recommended a detour onto a good road (no trucks allowed) by our guide. He had given us the mile post number to find it but no other directions. We duly found a turning at that place and followed it. We have a satellite navigation box in the car and this confirmed that we wer heading in approximately the right direction, so we stuck with it and sure enough found ourselves heading for Jiayuguan. Some of our colleagues missed this road and struggled on really poor conditions on the main road. To make matters worse, Stuart had electrical problems in his Austin Healey and ended up being towed in the last 30 km of bad road by Neil Donnan's Jaguar.

We, on the other hand, had time to visit a fort and a beacon tower on the Great Wall of China and climb 430 steps (and lots of steep ramp)on the wall at the end of the day. Jiayuguan ios known for its fort at the pass that marked the end of China. It was considered as the limit of civilisation in ancient Chinese times. The wall was the barrier which separated the fertile plains from the Gobi desert to the north and the savage mountains to the West. This pass was the only way through for any traffic coming into (old) China from the West.

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