Day 26: Kashgar to Sary Tash

This was our last journey on this trip in China. We had a long day ahead as we had to cross the border from China to Kyrgystan. From Kashgar to China border is about 214 kms. and then after border we have to cover another 240 kms. to reach Osh.

We left Hotel at Kashgar at about 9 am. The border crossing is a tedious journey. After 90 kms. there was a Immigration check point. Before reaching this Immigration check point, we had two places Police Check on the way. At the Immigration Check point, they asked us to download all the baggages and all were screened. We also went through the Immigration procedure for leaving the country. The passports were stamped for exiting the country. The car was taken to another place, where it was also screened. All this took long time and by the time we could complete the formalities, the time was past 1 pm. There was a gate after the Immigration check point building, which was closed and due to lunch time from 1 pm to 4 pm. It was lunch break. This resulted in getting stuck at the gate after the Immigration building for 3 hours. Actually the gate opened after 4:30pm. So, we lost valuable time there.

We reached China side actual border, which is 134 kms. from the Immigration building by about 5:50 pm. On the way we were stopped for Police check and Border checks innumerable times during the day. The formalities at the actual China side border were completed very quickly, thanks  to the expert from Nova Tours who helps us with Guide services and formalities at the borders on both sides.

The time when we could reach Kyrgystan side border it was 6:30 pm. The border here closes at 6:45 pm. However, the formalities here were simple and the staff was very cooperative. We could finish formalities even after the border time was over. The formalities included our normal Immigration for persons and also the making of Permit for the car.

We could leave the border around 7:45 pm (China time) or 5:45 pm (Kyrgystan time). There is a difference of two hours between the time of the two countries. So, we lost two hours in the process.
We started from the Kyrgystan border and wondering whether we can reach Osh. Osh is 240 kms. from the border. We started and slowly we realized the weather is changing and it started becoming dark and then the snow started. By the time we reached Sary Tash we felt that moving further in this weather may not be a wise thing to do. We found a petrol pump in Sary Tash. We took petrol and also got exchange of some RMB Yuan to Kyrgystan Som (KGS). The currency exchange rate is approximately 10 KGS for 1 RMB.  The petrol owner also helped us by suggesting a Guest House.
We reached the Guest House and got a room there. The guest house was having only basic facilities. We thought of spending night and then proceeding to Osh early morning.

The snow falling increased after we reached Sary Tash. It was very cold. We had reached 3170 metres altitude.

The scenery on the way was fabulous. Something we can not explain. It has to be seen to be seen to be believed. We were passing through the Pass and the mountain range were very beautiful.
Sary Tash is a small village and important cross roads in Alay Valley in Osh region. This small village has a café, a petrol station and few guest houses in individual houses.

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