Day 18 - Hello, China!

Scout Tour: From Venice to Shanghai (July 24th to August 19th)

The task seemed quite simple, especially because we were not far away from the borderline between Kirghizia and China yesterday at dusk. It seemed to us that it would not take long to reach it and relax, but adventures started at night: we first had to soil our wheels passing by the landslide, and after a couple of kilometers we faced a really off-road section. There was a landslide as well, which led to traffic congestion. A semi-trailer truck was helplessly trying to get out of the mud where there had been a good road several hours before it, and a small lorry with fuel barrels got into that mud before our eyes. We have been thinking for a long time whether to take a risk and drive through this off-road section or stay overnight hoping that road workers will arrive and solve the problem, but drivers of semi-trailer trucks could not refrain from driving through this road section. We first expected that one of them would fail and finally cause full traffic congestion, but local drivers with certain skills then proved to us that the obstacle was quite passable. We saw large loaded trucks driving through the mud and understood that we would succeed as well, and four-wheel drive of our Volkswagen Tiguan helped us a lot. Early in the morning, we were practically on the homestretch.

In the morning, we were again enjoying a fantastic view  – Taldyk Pass from the height of 3,615 meters seemed to us a scene from a fantasy film. We made several photos on our way and reached the border.

In general, the ban to make photos at border posts makes trip notes much less colorful: peculiarities of crossing the border, everyday life of border guards and travelers… Border posts are often located in very picturesque places, but rules are rules, and in our trip notes you will not see how we were examining our car before entering China.

Instead, we will tell you that after being quickly questioned by friendly Kirghiz border guards, we spent a lot of time at the Chinese border. There was a full inspection, including several X-ray inspections, about 10 passport checks, another border in 50 kilometers and the fact that our car will be inspected for 24 hours! Yes! We are already in the hotel with our Chinese guide Mr. Vang and are enjoying Chinese mentality and cuisine, and our Volkswagen Tiguan prepared to set a world record in passing through the Silk Road is being inspected at the border by vigilant Chinese border guards. It seems that we will be relaxing a little bit tomorrow: we have to solve a number of organizational issues before continuing our Chinese trip.

Author: Dmitry Makarov