153 / another one

At this remove, I can't swear this part of the trip across China
is in sequence: my camera started to repeat numbers.
A truck's load slipped, we were stuck for quite a while

I didn't mind at all, had a chance to get photos without
reflections or movement. Liked these guys.

quite a somber landscape

probably minerals

possibly landslides at times

not very sympathetic to humans -
I liked the austere, secretive feel of it.
(If it is in sequence, we are headed to Urumqi).


152 / delay

A museum about the karez, the underground irrigation
system near Turpan, said to be 5000 km long 
Its a wonderful feat of ingenuity.

I thought the museum could have been much livelier, or something..

at this point there was a delay due to a 'disturbance' in Urumqi,
we had to change the schedule.
The hotel was large, derelict at the rear, with a deserted
swimming pool

it looked like everyone just walked out one day,

& nothing had been done since

it should have been more photogenic, I usually
enjoy urban decay

We were advised to stay within the compound..
maybe sensible, but we missed the chance to just walk around.


151 / Yarkhota

the 1000 year old ruins of Yar, built from mud
1000 years before that 

it has another name, unpronounceable : Jiaohe
theres a model near the entrance

its thought to have come to an untimely end:
one of the recurrent invasions

at first its difficult to sense any human residue

& then something reveals..

there was few tourists there that day

apart from our group

light rain, no sun/shadows

a different sort of quiet

later, I was watching the traffic..


150 / around Turpan

With irrigation, the grapes in Xinjiang are famous

as is the amazing old underground irrigation system

I really liked the dry hills

sometimes different reds & browns

more often a dull brown, with great forms.. walking, moving

this was in May - spring - theres very little rain

maybe 3 days a year

near some tombs..the next shot has flames, & no dog


149 / desert roads

Just what I could get from the moving bus

through hard country,

sometimes on new roads

bleak living conditions


one very rough mining town

a place to sit & watch the trucks go by

mud brick houses & a grape drying place

&.. who knows?


148 / extras

here are some extra ones, mostly in Beijing

a more humble wall 

at the Forbidden Palace

so many different versions of these little trucks,
right across China

but few details as elaborate as those made for emperors


147 / Bezeklik

Quite suddenly 
there was another magnificent kind of landscape

dramatic, dry, red

& yet really varied

with a fertile irrigated valley 

another place where Buddhist monks made decorated caves
for centuries : Bezeklik

there is almost nothing left of the caves. 
Rocks endure. Unless there's minerals.