duration: 23h 29min
At the food market we also met Jonathan and Theo, who showed us their exiting video of cycling through Kyrgyzstan, which Jon had edited entirely on his iPhone:
Winter was close and time was pressing to move on to Pakistan soon. For 100$ we hired a van from the private bus stand in the southeast of the city to take us to the border town of Tashkurgan. In retrospective, it would have been nice to go by bike, but we felt stressed and didn't dare to spend another week on the road, fearing the pass to Pakistan could close any day.
Cycling the chinese side of the Tashkurgan pass is not allowed, so taking the bus is obligatory.
In Tashkurgan we had a hard time finding the departure point of the bus though and went two times to the outskirts of the town and back to the bus station in the center. In the end the chinese customs building on the main road south of the center was the right place, an unsightly large building with a grey fassade and a big paved square in front of it.
Customs clearance was the dull experience expected from chinese bureaucracy, the officers replaced by androids seemingly devoid of human emotion. Behind the customs building, the pakistani bus convoi was waiting. We and a few dozen pakistani merchants stuffed our belongings into the compartments - with joyous shouts of "Chellu Chellu Pakistan" ("Go go to Pakistan") we finally set of south.