Hot water is commonly drunk instead of tea. As usual China december holiday traditions I slept in a women's dormitory at the local inn. Dust-storms in the night China december holiday traditions blew in through the cracks in the door and by morning my face, hair and bed were coated in grit.
The morning brought desert pink sand and mud mountains eroded into alluvial fan patterns, red at their base.
The bus trundled on slowly and at every slight slope the driver shifted gear into neutral so we freewheeled along at ten miles an hour.
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It was becoming a little boring, so I was pleased when on our fourth day we arrived in Kashgar and my frustration was replaced by joy at having reached the crossroads of Asia.