As we left Naryn to make our way towards the Tian Shan Mountains, we stopped at The Tash Rabbat, It is an extremely isolated Silk Road caravanserai in the middle of nowhere.
Caravanserais were an extensive network of traveler’s inns along old caravan roads, either located at cities along the way or as outposts of civilization in isolated regions, providing shelter from the hostile natural environment and from bandits.Travelers who reached Tash Rabat have already crossed the dangerous Torugart Pass, giving them the chance to recharge their energy for the next leg of the journey through the Tian Shan Mountains, to pray for a safe passage and to restock on food and water.
Kashgar- Well I have so much I want to tell you about Kashgar, it always sounded so exotic and far flung, I wasn’t wrong, it is or was when I was there in 2013.
Kashgar is a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in China’s far west. It was a stop on the Silk Road, with its history stretching over 2,000 years.
Entering the old walled city is like taking a step back in time, hardly changed from it’s 2000 year history, the old buildings held together by mud plaster and the slightly newer merchants houses, they are all there still, but for how much longer no one knows, as the residents die, or move on, the buildings are sadly demolished and brand new ones pop up! Ugh!
Here the sights and sounds were a rush to my sense, the smell of street food cooing on spits and barbq’s, the friendliness and welcome of the Uyghur people was second to none! I loved the Kashgar I visited then, it and much of this part of the journey changed my life, and in a very good way.
As I look back at these images of my great personal journey along the Silk Route from the West to the East , I realise how much stronger it made me, how much it changed the way I am and the way I see the World and People.
I also lament how much fitter I was(lol) and hardier(stone cold bucket showers, and hot spring caves). It reminds me every time I look at the images of a “not one single regret of a 13mth journey I took” or how I managed to sell (divest myself of most of my worldly goods), and embark on my current living in SEA adventure. Sadly the mountains here are not so peaceful, too many Chinese tourists run like ants all over the places that should be calm.
Am I the only one that misses the desolate quietness of mountains ? or should I say the noise of the mountains. Wind, streams, rivers, sheep, camels, trees, grasses….
I hope you like my quick view of this section between Naryn in Kyrgyzstan and Kashgar in the Western corner of China.