Sleeping in the park

Well maybe a little hangover¡­

We are supposed to meet Jason at 8.30 in the morning, so unfortunately we have to get out of bed early. We find it quite difficult today. Jason is pretty easy going so when we decide that we stay one more day in Kashgar, and that we are not going to drive around, we go our own way. Good! Very Good!

We walk to the internet cafe where we have an appointment with Ward, a guy from Belgium. He asked us to join him on a trip to Shipton¡¯s Arch. This should be the biggest national bridge of stone that was rediscovered only two years ago. He is arranging a 4WD for tomorrow and wants to know if we are joining him. After we had a quick look at and found some more information we are sure. We are going to climb that amazing looking creature. After waiting half an hour we leave a message for Ward that we would love to join him.

We walk into town and have a look around. We see a very nice food market where they sell all kinds of fresh baked products and hang around there for half an hour or so. We have to find a post office since we have to send some tapes to our broadcasting station. Since we can¡¯t find it we decide to ask someone on the street to help us. There are thousands of people on the street so we just pick one who looks like a person who knows the words Post Office. He does know the way and explains it but he also knows to tell that our friend has seen the message in the internet caf¨¦ (which was half a kilometre away). Hmmm¡­ spooky¡­ how does this man know about our appointment with Ward and about the message. Are people following us??

We walk to the post office (where we find out they can¡¯t send the tapes) and then continue our way to Mao¡¯s statue on a massive square. A huge and impressive statue we must say. We head into the nearby park and notice that the beers are still in our legs. Elles lies down on a bench and I sit underneath a small pagoda. Within no-time we are sleeping in the sun. An hour or so and a stroll through the boring park later we head back to the square. There we see little children performing local dances, kung fu and acrobatics. We are very much impressed with the discipline of the children and think the Dutch school system can learn something from this. The teachers are well respected by the looks of the performers.

At the end of the afternoon we head into the oldtown of Kashgar. This is something! It feels like we have travelled back in time. Traditional trades that have long disappeared in the western world are still very much alive here. Beautiful handicrafts are made here and it¡¯s not for the tourists but for the locals. When we enter the area where they sell hats we are amazed but also in shock. Animals that are close to extinction are here turned into beautiful fur hats. A weird contrast. We know winter is coming and people will actually wear them here. Then a shopkeeper approaches and places a fur hat on my head. We have a laugh but I also find it weird to have a hat made of Lynx on my head. When we ask the price out of curiosity and are stunned when the guy only asks 30 euro for it. Imagine if we started bargaining¡­

We leave the market just before dark. Tomorrow we will go to Shiptons Arch!