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Desert Bash and the Old City of Jiahoe

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 3, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

After a great breakfast we headed out south into the desert for the start of the bike rally, the proceedings started at 9am and we got there just in time, but then had to wait for over an hour! There had been rain the night before and even though the bike scrutineering had been done on time, the scruits had to go drive the track to make sure it was not dangerous. This gave plenty of time for the riders to crowd around our bikes as we are now used to and to get a group photo 🙂

Then for some reason I was chosen by the local Chinese TV channel for an interview, only 1/2 a million viewers, so a small local company 🙄 LOL


Lucky for me Benny was there to interpret the questions and answers 🙂 So, finally around 10.30am the bikes started off, at 2 minute intervals and the dust was thick!

Once the main riders had gone we headed back to town and the friendly locals, cheeky Nacho, they are mine 🙂

Lunch seemed in order so we found a nice spot and more photogenic locals 😉

As we were around sea level in a desert we had been advised to slow down to a stop in the middle of the day which we did, because it was so blinking hot. During this time I decided to strip the dash out of the bike and see what I could do to repair the front fairing, when I am riding it moves around a lot and it really needs to be stable if I am going to be riding crap roads in Mongolia! I was surprised to find two bolts missing, the two that hold the front fairing mount to the main frame of the bike. Lucky for me, one of the bolts had been caught up in the top of the radiator and so with that, I managed to find another the same size and bolt it all back together, with thread lock this time!!! I also noticed the squashed wire loom, this is the one that supplies power to the GPS cradle and it had not been working since the crash in Kyrgyzstan, maybe co-incidence, but more likely an after effect of the rough roads and the crash as well.

Later that afternoon when it seemed it might cool down a bit, four of us grabbed a cab and headed to the old city of Jiaohe on the hill. This is a mud city that was built over 2,000 years ago and was still viable until around 1,400AD when Ghengis Kahn came through and destroyed it. Never the less, it is still impressive to have anything not made of stone to last this long, but I guess in a desert, there is not much rainfall to wash the mud away. It is hard to convey in the following photos what it is really like, but here goes.

That evening we found a place that served chook and rice, still not fried rice but it is not noodles, and I am still amazed at the plastic glove to pick up the chook bones with 🙂

Tomorrow we were heading of north to the Mongolian border area, but we hoped to find a camp spot for the next few nights, if it is allowed and secluded.

Cheers from Turpan, China

2 Responses to “Desert Bash and the Old City of Jiahoe”

  1. Bob said

    Having those two bolts on the fairing mount loosen is fairly common until one applies some thread blocker or checks their tightness occasionally.

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