Both me and pascal have no other choice but to cycle to Korla, after the problem with Hejing police. It was quite easy 130km ride, but tough in the end due to strong wind and some uphill. Its a big city and hotels here that accept foreigners are expensive, some 140 yuan per night. I was tired and need a good rest, had no other choice but to stay in the expensive hotel. Stayed a day there and since most of the villages in the Tian Shan are forbidden to foreigners, we had no other choice but to take bus to Ili. It was the first bus ride for me since im in China, a tedious 18 hours ride from Korla to Ili. This is the second longest bus ride i took in my life after a 28 hours long bus ride from Kengtung in Burma to Bangkok in Thailand some 2 years ago. Was quite sad that i cant ride all the way to Ili from Baluntai, but taking a bus ride for the first time for me in China, gave me a new experience. To get a bus ticket was a nightmare. People here should learn how to queue properly and things can get easier. Everybody is shouting to each other, pushing, fighting to get to the ticket counter. After nearly an hour, i finally got the bus ticket to Ili, sweating… The bus ride went quite smooth, but took a long way to Ili, passing by Turpan and Urumqi before taking the northern route to Ili (the road along the Tian Shan that i cycled is nearer, but bad roads).
okay forget the foreground, i mean, look at that beautiful sunset sky mate…
Arrived Ili early in the morning, took breakfast and spent over 3 hours looking for guesthouse. Many hotels in Ili, its a big town but again, most of them dont accept foreigners, seriously i dont know why and it gets annoying. Pascal got really grumpy that morning. After hours and hours of searching for a place to stay, we finally stayed in a very expensive hotel that accept foreigners, 208 yuan a night!! So its 104 yuan each, there goes my money. Now i think i wont be reaching Russia so soon if i spend my money at this rate, sure i need to find a job soon. Suprising, police here are good. They smiled at me (and it wasnt a fake smile), showed me direction (even tho it was wrong), and they are very polite and helpful. Well done China police! Now my hatred burned less, good to meet some good hearted police in this town.
After having breakfast the next day, both me and pascal finally departed on our own ways. Saying goodbye was hard, but we have to. Pascal finally turned east towards Narati, i head west towards Korgas, the last town for me in China. Watching him from a distance, i hope he will make it. He was quite afraid to ride alone i guess, at first he will ride to turpan, but ended up joining me all the way to Ili here, because i think he hate to ride alone. But i assure him, sometimes, being alone is a peace of mind. Hope he will have a safe journey, ill pray for the safety of this white boy.
some locals chilling in korgas
The 90km ride from Ili to Korgas was good. I rode swift for the first 60km, flatland without headwind, passing by beautiful views of farms and Uighur and Kazakh villages. So many villages in between so i dont worry about water supplies. Fierce sunlight without clouds to protect me, burned my skin so bad, making me darker and darker. Was sweating heavily because it was too hot, i smell like a wild horse. But worry not, nobody wanna kiss me at this point of my life, so i dont really care. hehe.
Reached the border at around 6.50, uhh bad luck for me, the border just about to close. I asked the officer can i still get thru, he said he doesnt mind but it was already closed on the Kazakhstan side, and suggested me to take a day rest, and come back on monday. Erkk, okay then, maybe its better for me to stay another day in China, since i can wander around this last town of china for me, and… uhhh… i got quite emotional, im gonna miss china. To me, china is one of the best country for me. Forget the police in Baluntai and Henjing, and also those hotels that dont accept foreigners. Those are the bad apples. Among all the countries that i have traveled, i can say china is the best. The hospitality by the local chinese here are unmatched. Its from my experience of course, since i never go to beijing or shanghai or any other big cities in the eastern side of china. But here in western part of china, most chinese here are poor people, theyre really good hearted people. They always smile, regardless the hard life they have to go through. So many things i have learned from these local people, about life… and helped me change the way i look at life….
mmmm chinese chess nyummyyyy….
mmm the attack is about to begin!
the pieces are moving!!