The journey took us 25 hours, 12 of which we spent driving. The other 13 hours we spent enduring childish beratings, searches, and endless waiting all at the hands of the chinese military. The border patrol were particularly interested in Deb's feminine hygiene products, all the heroin the little old Uzbek ladies were carrying, and my Black Diamond snow saw.
Somehow, we made it to a bed in Kashgar by sleeptime and were ready to check out town in the morning. The cultural/political situation in Xinjiang is similiar to Tibet, though much less publicized. The Uyghur people,their religion and culture are literally and figuratively being bulldozed, over-run and buried by the Han Chinese.
Kashgar is crazy. One side of the street is crumbling mud hovels with thriving and lively street markets while across the boulevard are three story malls filled with plastic goods, giant plasmatron TV billboards and 20 floor cement tenament buildings. Deb and I enjoyed jumping back and forth, sport shopping and being the only tourists in a huge melting pot as we preprared our own goods for a trip to the mountain village of Subashi and Mustagh-Ata . . . without our skis. But that's another story.