20-Jun-2006 -- 40N – 76E Xinjiang (新疆), China
Line Hunting Date: June 20, 2006
A hunt near the western end of China
After spending two days at Kashgar, the hub of the silk road, and most western city of China, we became restless for a hunt. Even though Kashgar is 40 degrees away from Beijing, but it is the same time zone as Beijing. To adjust for this one time zone for the entire country, the working hours at this western end of China starts at 10 am. We cooped our local host to go for a hunt starting at 7.30 am for this point located about 55 km straight north. We hope to get back to Kashgar when most folks just started working so we don’t have to miss a beat. One mistake we made was skipping breakfast before we hit the road.
After 25 km of expressway, we turned onto a secondary road which took us through some very impressive desert landscape for about 40 km. We reached the closest location to the confluence point on the road – about 3.9 km south. We started off-road driving to bring us closer to the confluence point. The speed of the pick-up truck was slightly faster than walking and we switched to foot with 1.5 km left to go. At 9 am, the sun was strong but temperature was still quite cool. A little hike sure beats the bone rattling ride in the car.
There were many flowering plants in this desert field and the hike was very pleasant. We found the confluence point located on a foothill where there were a couple of stone circles made by herders or campers. About 350 meters from the confluence was a large circular man made pond but totally dried up. On the way back toward the car, our guardian or host, Kamilijiang started fading a bit – the effect of no breakfast. The round trip of hike to the confluence point and back took just about one hour.
One the way back to Kashgar, we had to make an emergency meal stop at the first town. We each had a good plate of noodle, and it tasted absolutely great. Shortly, after we made it back to Kashgar, we were informed that a formal banquet was awaiting for us!
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge:
2 – a pleasant walk in the desert (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
3– Classic desert environment of Xinjiang with many interesting plants (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
4 – the CP area has no culture but our starting point – Kashgar is a terrific Central Asian city with long history tied to the silk roads (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)