According to Pakistan time I slept in until about 9am. According to local Xinjiang and Beijing times, I slept in until about 10am and 12pm, respectively. I have no idea what time system people operate on for what things and I’m not prepared to think hard enough about it, so I have reverted my watch back to Pakistan time so I know exactly when the sun rises and sets each day. After a delightfully hot shower I headed out to find an ATM, which finally gave me some money. I surrendered my first yuan to a restaurant next door to the hostel where I spent 15y (AU$3) on a fresh noodle/vegetable/mutton dish. With no English being spoken or understood, I simply walked in, took a seat and then pointed to the dish on someone else’s table, holding up my index finger to indicate I wanted ‘one’. I returned to the hostel and paid for my stay, then paid back Andrew for last night’s dinner. In the meantime my phone had been charging so I got stuck into working out what I can and can’t access here in China. No Facebook. No Whatsapp. No Google. No YouTube. None of these things present a major problem. I can still email and I can still search for information via Bing. In the afternoon I joined Andrew, John and Karen for a walk to the Stone Fort, a 2000-year old relic from an ancient Tajik kingdom. On the way there we bumped into two Pakistani guys who’d come across Khunjerab Pass on the same bus. They accompanied us to the grounds of the old fort and filled us with interesting information about life in Tashkurgan. We jumped a gate to walk to the Grassland. Today is a Chinese holiday, so any people were out having picnics in the perfect weather. The atmosphere was lovely: blue skies, green fields, rocky/snowy mountains, families relaxing in the sunshine. Back at the hostel we chilled out for a while and played a few (card) games of Liar. When dinnertime arrived, we went next door (the others were yet to eat there) and in addition to the same dish I’d ad this morning, we got some amazing kebabs (mutton barbequed on a metal skewer and seasoned to perfection). It’s now 8pm, 9pm and 11pm. Whatever the time I’m extremely tired and can’t wait for sleep.

Old kingdoms

Accommodation $ Hostel
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 19,164km