Operation desert crossing today for team Lipstick as they turned south straight through the middle of the Gobi Desert.
 
Fortunately, they encountered a fairly good tar road unlike the stretch they did through the Sahara in Mauretania 2 years ago.
 
Sand wherever one looks. even on Lipsticks bonnet
Sand wherever one looks. even on Lipsticks bonnet…
 
There were various police stops on this stretch of the journey and again the tem was made aware that the province of Xinjiang and todays end point – the city of Hotan- is under the watchful eye of the Chinese government due to some conflicts in the past…
 
Following the July 2009 Urumqi riots, ethnic tensions rose in Xinjiang and in Hotan in particular. As a result, the city has seen occasional bouts of violence. In June 2011, Hotan opened its first passenger-train service to Kashgar, which was established as a special economic zone following the riots. In July of the same year, a bomb and knife attack occurred on the city’s central thoroughfare, thought to be perpetrated by local Uyghurs opposed to the government’s policies on women wearing the Islamic veil. In June 2012, Tianjin Airlines Flight 7554 was hijacked en route from Hotan to Urumqi.
 
stop! papers need to be checked and recorded before allowed further on route...
stop! papers need to be checked and recorded before allowed further on route…
 
With team Lipstick having all paperwork in tip top condition there was of course no reason for the police to not allow the boys to pass the checkpoints and many of them waived them a happy good by and wished them well.
 
Lipstick in a bit of off road adventure
Lipstick in a bit of off road adventure – enjoying the sand in the Gobi Desert…
Every now and then the team stopped on route and got a bit of sand under the trusted BRF Goodrich all terrain tires which performed so well over the past years of going through Africa and now Asia…
 
This of course also gave the boys a chance to get into the onboard fridge for some ice-cold beverages
This of course also gave the boys a chance to get into the onboard fridge for some ice-cold beverages which are a must to avoid dehydration in this huge sand pit called the GOBI desert…
 
Often some seemingly wild camels watched Lipstick going through its territory
Often some seemingly wild camels watched Lipstick going through its territory -but they had to look fast due to the huge horse power available for use on straight desert roads…
After a 6hours drive the oasis ton of Hotan was reached and a suitable place to rest was found in the City center.
 
China Hotan also welcomes new arrivals with huge monuments showcasing the history of China
Like most cities in China Hotan also welcomes new arrivals with huge monuments showcasing the history of China.
 
With a population of 322,300 , Hotan is situated in the Tarim Basin some 1,500 kilometers  southwest of the regional capital, Urumqi. It lies just north of the Kunlun Mountains, which are crossed by the Sanju, Hindutash and Ilchi passes. The town, located southeast of Yarkant County and populated almost exclusively by Uyghurs, is a minor agricultural center.
 
 An important station on the southern branch of the historic Silk Road, Hotan has always depended on two strong rivers – the Karakash River and the White Jade River to provide the water needed to survive on the southwestern edge of the vast Taklamakan Desert. The White Jade River still provides water and irrigation for the town and oasis.
 
The oasis of Hotan is strategically located at the junction of the southern (and most ancient) branch of the Silk Road joining China and the West with one of the main routes from ancient India and Tibet to Central Asia and distant China. It provided a convenient meeting place where not only goods, but technologies, philosophies, and religions were transmitted from one culture to another.

Leave a Reply