The Road to Kashgar, and Yurts

The road from Sary-Tash to the Chinese border winds over rolling green steppeland. This stretch of the road is best covered by hitching in trucks. Trucks bound for China are usually empty, since Kyrgyzstan has little to export, so you can toss your bag into the empty bed and climb up after it. You sit on a tire and ignore the truckers if they object. The trucks leave for China at dawn and you rumble out of Sary-Tash wreathed in mist and chimney-smoke, then pull away from the muddy white houses and out beneath the shining Pamirs. The air is very cold but very clear - you light a cigarette for warmth and later you buy a bottle of mare's milk from a nomad by the road. You will reach Kashgar before dark.

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©2006 Hannibal Taubes