2007 Aug 05: Another big day it was. We finally took off from Kashgar 喀什 and headed to Khotan 和田 through the famous Desert Highway 沙漠公路. It was some six hours driving all the way through the world's second biggest desert, the Taklimakan Desert 塔克拉玛干沙漠. However the disappointing thing was the entire sky was more or less covered by sands and therefore the sky was more like yellow in colors, without bright sunlight. We still took some pictures on the way though. We also spotted some small to medium size hurricanes during the way in the desert. So we arrived 和田 and first visited the 核桃树王, 1,362 years old. Then we went to some minor spots not really worth mentioning. We lodged at 台州宾馆.
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good morning folks. so we are leaving 喀什 and our destination town is 和田 today.
one last glance of the 其尼瓦克宾馆.
so we were taking some roads where there were lots of traffic, not vehicles but horse carts etc.
the most common transportations there were these.
three of the drivers, 小马哥, 于师傅, 郭师傅 and me.
a cigarette was always in 郭师傅's hand.
so we entered the desert highway.
we saw some animals such as camel. I am not sure if it was domestic, or wild.
time for lunch. 菜肉拌面 again.
very sweet couple run this small restaurant. they worked well together.
they worked seamlessly.
as always, 郭师傅 had to give them extra instruction on how to cook it well.
and we were patiently waiting. one thing that is not showing in the picture is, there were tens and tens of flies flying around. it was almost very annoying.
preparing the lamb meat and veggie.
so this is the 菜肉.
finally, this was the final product. let's eat.*
and we went across the desert again. not very clear, but what you are seeing are two of the many many hurricanes that I saw during the drive.
this is to show you how sandy and windy it was.
and you can see the visibility was low. and if you can notice, there were sand blowing from your right side to the left side on the highway.
a big coach was coming towards us.
our destination was not far away, 和田.
we were having another break for drinks. so I was sitting at the side of the road and taking pictures.
finally, it was the late afternoon and we reached the center of 和田.
it was a long drive already, like four or five hours even though I did not shoot a lot of pictures.
we were entering the 葡萄長廊 to see the 核桃树王 ahead at the end of the
so we got in the 核桃树王 tourist area, with an entrance fee of course.
there were lots of gourds.
a close up, they were fresh.
also some grapes.*
and we reached the 核桃树王, which is at the back. the tree is 1,362 years old.
it required lots of supports as part of the tree actually died and the body of the tree was hollow.
another side of the tree. it was not as big as I thought.
just some nice flowers I saw in the garden.*
we were leaving to another 树王 area as there were a total of three 树王 around that area. but we did not entered the garden for the rest of the 树王.
after that, we went back to the hotel and dinner and finished our day.