Crossing the Karakoram mountains into China, the Karakoram Highway is a major engineering achievement. In 1987, much of the journey from the Pakistan border to Kashgar, an oasis in the Takla Makan desert, was over the dirt tracks, through rivers and over boulder-strewn stretches of the desert – often in sight of the highway construction project.
This was the start of a journey that stretched across China. My route took me by bus from Kashgar to Korla, a small industrial town where I might have been the first foreigner to visit for a long time. I gathered a small crowd of two hundred people who followed me as I explored the town. They were very polite and almost silent. It was a very odd experience. Ducking into a cafe, I found a table and ordered a beer and a good meal. Dunhuang was next