Karakol high way 中國|冷美的喀拉崑崙公路

中文在下方

May, 2017

The eighth day of road trip, we arrived at our destination-Kashgar in the morning. I was so exhausted that I had to lie on the bed soon, of course I took a shower well first. it seemed like all the tourists gathering at the same hostel in Kashgar. We could only find couchsurfing host in Urumqi, all the reservation to hostels were rejected because of Ramadan. After we arrived at Kashgar, we found out there’s no religious custom issue. All the restaurants, shops hangs on a big photo of Leader Xi and a communist party advertisement poster. Some of the shops even put a warning board: Do not wearing hijab, Do not praying, Do not wearing traditional clothes, and no beard! Aww, if you see some old men wearing beards, it means they got approval from government.

Next day, we and 2 German and 1 Chinese had a conversation. They were colleagues from a company. They intended to travel to China-Pakistan border by car, the highest border in the world. It’s also a place I had dreamed of for long time, but I mean the Pakistan side. It took us long time discussing for this traveling plan. Because we have to rent a car, apply for driving approval, and hiring a guide. Especially hostel staffs warned us that we must travel with a guide in that region and pass the check points. But it’s really too expensive for us, no sense to hire a guide just for driving to places we want. Finally we decided to go ourselves. If we won’t pass the checkpoint, we back to here. Though I can’t go to Pakistan, let me physically close to it. So we left with few simple clothes.

Drive to the south direction, we passed through 2 or 3 small towns and stopped for a meal. They said they don’t want to eat lamb anymore (because Uyghur eats a lot lambs), they had no choice, still ordered lamb dishes in the end. We kept going after the meal. I could saw high mountains from far away. To see mountains covered with snows in the end of May was a magical thing to me. The more we close to main checkpoint the more I want to see Karakol highway, then I can see the real beauty. We have had passed 2 checkpoints, they only took a look of our ID. Before entering the main one, we stopped for taking some photos. All the car had begun driving slowly. Don’t know why I had my body scanned by a female police. Do they worry that women are better deceive people? Before walking with 3 European to the window beside the gate, I told one of them I’m not good at cheating. I couldn’t tell police the guy who’s in our car is a tour guide. “Are you their tour guide?" Yes, the police asked me, and I answered " No, I’m not their tour guide. But we are with one “local" Chinese guy." In China I always told people I’m from Taiwan. Some people said it’s also Chinese. I could only smiled to people if I’m at the checkpoint. Even I had “Taiwanese residents ID", I couldn’t travel freely in this region. “So, where is he?" The police asked, I pointed to our car and informed him we had driving approval. Fortunately, he didn’t asked further questions, only warned us we have to travel with a guide next time.

Then we were all very excited all the way.

We came to the first lake, Bulunkol lake. I ran to the lakeside immediately when our “guide was parking the car. The first sightseeing we saw on karakol highway was really breathtaking beautiful. This is what people described the blue-green. Air was too fresh, I had to yelled at them " bring me my scarf, please!" Sure enough, the temperature dropped a lot, it made me felt wanted to pee. I had realized we arrived low temperature mountains area. That’s why I carried my winter coat around whole China for this occasion. We all satisfied the first sightseeing. The second lake called Karakol. The actual meaning is unknown, google said it means “black lake". I’m sure it’s not blue-green. It was grey, which reflected from cloudy skies. We kept heading to the south, it’s southwest edge of Tarim Basin. We were amazed by the view. And we checked the altitude every now and then. 3000 meter, 3200 meter, 3500 meter, 3800…. we reached to a peak at high speed. Oh yes, we broke 4000 meters. Finally I came to a place higher than the highest mountain of Taiwan. We stopped at the peak, was walking few steps and had difficulties with breathing. We were happy in hearts but body was getting cold. Winds blows us into the car.

I remember few days ago we had once stopped at a checkpoint, a police had recommended me to go to Tashqurghan, then I unexpectedly arrived here. Residents look like Uyghur, but their cheeks are more red here. It’s dusk and not many people on the street. We still struggling to make approval for border, although we finally arrived the main town before border, but it’s not that easy. Unless you are a Chinese, you have to hold a Pakistan visa for seeing the border. It’s a pity. We decided to stay in the hostel for one night then back to Kashgar the next morning. I don’t know it’s because of the weather or the “XinJiang issue", I felt cheerless. We walked around then chose a normal Chinese restaurant. This time they didn’t have to eat lamb.

5月,2017年

第八天的公路之旅,一早抵達喀什的時候,我們累得只想趕快躺著睡覺,不過當然要先好好洗澡。似乎所有抵達喀什的旅人都聚在同一家旅舍,沙發衝浪只到烏魯木齊,連網路上預約其他家的旅舍都回信說現在是齋戒月不收人,但是到這裡之後,發現根本沒有宗教習俗的問題,各個店家都擺上習大大的照片還有一大張對共產黨歌功頌德的海報,甚至有一小塊牌子寫不可穿戴長袍、不可祈禱、不可穿傳統服飾、不可留鬍子,噢,如果你有看到那些老人留鬍子的,那是有跟政府申請過的。

隔天一早,我們和兩個德國人與一個中國人搭上話,他們都是在同公司共事的,他們打算開車往中巴邊界去,那是全世界最高的邊界,也是我一直夢想要去的地方,但是,是巴基斯坦那一邊。光是討論要不要去就討論了好久,要租車又要申請許可証,旅舍的工作人員又說一定要有導遊同行才可以過檢查站,但是那真的太貴了,所謂的導遊只是他開車到我們想去的地方,我們還是決定自己去,無法通過的話再回來吧,不能到巴基斯坦那就讓身體靠近它也好,就這樣我們只帶簡便的衣物岀發。

開車往南走後,一百公里內會經過兩三個小鎮,我們停下來吃個新疆午餐,他們說不想再吃羊肉了,可還是點了羊肉。開車路上望眼遠方是高山,在月底可以看到山頭覆蓋著雪,對我來說是很神奇的事,越靠近檢查站的時後,越覺得我們一定要通過,這樣才可以親眼見見喀崙公路更精彩的地方,前面路過兩個的檢查站都只是看看身分證件,在進入大站前我們甚至特地停了車趕緊多拍照,再開不久就是檢查站,所有人車通行都變慢了,不知道為什麼下車檢查時,我特別受女性警察掃描身體,難道他們擔心女性比較好矇騙人嗎?跟著三個歐洲人走到閘門旁的窗口之前,我還跟其中一人說我最不會說謊了,我無法騙說我們車上那開車的是導遊,警察問「你是他們的導遊嗎?」「我不是,但我們有跟一個"在地的"中國人一起。」在中國境內我總是跟別人說我來自台灣,通常對方回說那也是中國人呀,如果是在檢查站我只能微笑回應,就算持著台胞証,在這裡四處旅行時還是無法自由通行。「那他在哪呢?」警察又問,我告知了是哪台車並且他有申請通行證,幸好,他沒在多問了!只說下次一定要有導遊。

接下來我們一路都很興奮,來到第一座湖,布倫口沙湖,停車時我立馬衝到湖邊,第一座湖就美得不得了,原來人家說的湖水綠是這種綠呀,空氣太清新,不得不大叫「拜託拿出我的圍巾!」,果然溫度下降了很多,冷的尿意都來了,這時才意識到我們正處在氣溫很低的山區,我揹的大外套繞了半個中國就是用在這。我們都對第一個景點很滿意,而第二個湖是喀拉庫勒湖,Karakol,實際名稱意涵不確定,網路一說是黑湖的意思,果然他沒有湖水綠,只有天空烏雲映上的灰。繼續往南,走在帕米爾高原的東部,塔里木盆地的西南邊緣,直直哇—的發出驚呼聲,也不斷查看手機我們的海拔度,3000、3200、3500、3800,我們高速邁向一座山頂,哇哈,突破4000了耶!我終於來到比台灣最高山還要高的地方,在三角點停了下來,走了幾步路就氣喘吁吁,無比開心卻也無比的冷,大風也使得我們躲回車上。

在前幾天往喀什的路上曾經停過一個檢查站,有個警察推薦我到塔什庫爾干,沒想到我就這樣來了。這裡的臉孔跟喀什的人一樣,似乎小朋友的雙頰更紅,沒想到已經是傍晚了,大家又在糾結是不是要去辦通行證到那個中巴邊界大門,雖然我們已在邊界前最後一個鎮,但要真的到邊界真是困難重重,除非是中國人,其他外國人必須持有巴基斯坦的簽證才能到邊界,雖然有些小遺憾,我們決定找了青年旅館待一晚,隔天一早回喀什。不曉得是氣候的關係或新疆的問題,覺得這裡很冷清,我們走了幾條街決定選了個普通中國餐廳,這次,他們不用吃羊肉了。

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