|Well, latest update on Juan and Asima is that Juan wasn't able to get her going again but managed to get towed to the Kyrgyzstan border late Friday. Unfortunately, the border is closed for the weekend and also on Monday as it is a public holiday here. So he is stuck at the border until Tuesday. He has been able to arrange with the Chinese government to transport the truck from the border to Kashgar where hopefully it will be possible to repair it.
Al has made arrangements for us to leave Kashgar tomorrow (Monday) by train to Urumqi (25 hr trip), the capital of Xinjiang Province, and then to Heavenly Lake which is in the Tian Shan Mountains where we stay overnight in a yurt. After that we will travel to Turpan where hopefully Juan will be able to meet us. The boys have done a fantastic job making sure we don't miss out on the planned sights.
Today we left Kashgar at 11am to visit the animal market on the outskirts of town. We've been to other animal markets on this trip, but this one was the real deal, a cacophany of animal sounds and smells, locals selling their wares and food stalls selling all kinds of weird looking food. You had to push your way through the people, sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, horses, trying to avoid getting peed on (by the animals!). We stopped to look at the noodle makers and were invited to sit down and have a cup of tea with the old man who proudly pointed out his sons (he has 7). We also stopped at the melon stall to buy a couple of pieces of melon each.
After a couple of hours at the market it was good to sit down in the shade away from the noise and just people watch for a while.
On the way back we stopped at the famous Kashgar Sunday Market - alley upon alley of shoes, dried fruit, kitchen goods, glorious fabrics, you name it you can buy it here. After an hour or so we were all bazaared out and headed back to our hotel to have a rest and also buy food for our long train trip tomorrow.
We are now sitting in a restaurant having a nice cold beer. The people at the next table bought a sheep at the market this morning and it has just arrived cooked, sitting up on the carving board with a red scarf around its head and looking a bit like a poodle! They have carved it and eaten most of the meat, with one guy swallowing both eyeballs with relish! There is some sort of parade going on in the street, with lots of music and drums - possibly something to do with the public holiday.
Ah well, time to order tea!