Garry McGivern’s cycling around the world, Monday, 8th-October-2012, Kazakhstan/Chinese border to Khorgas China. 15 miles. It was quite a long, drawn-out process to cross the border today. I left the motel and cycled past the long queue of waiting trucks. At the checkpoint, they checked my passport six different times before eventually letting me out into no man’s land. There were loads of guards, searchlights and razor wire! I must admit, I’ve not seen such a heavily fortified checkpoint before.
Once out of Kazakhstan, it was a five-mile ride across no man’s land to the Chinese checkpoint. The road between the two checkpoints went in a big arc instead of going straight across. Had I been able to ride straight across, it would have only been about half a mile away! I assume the big detour was so there was room for the lorries to queue.
Will They Let Me In
At the Chinese border, a young soldier escorted me into the immigration building. Who, in turn, passed me on to someone else, who then passed me on again. When I eventually reached passport control, I was greeted by a young female officer who spoke fluent English. After helping me fill out my entry card, she took me to the front of the queue. It was a little annoying that I had to unload my panniers and send them through the x-ray machine. But apart from that, it was all very smooth and easy. And after a quick photo with the officer, I was on my way and `back in China. Only about another three thousand miles to cycle!
Even though I’ve been stuck at the border for the past couple of days and was itching to get back to cycling, I stopped again as soon as I arrived in China! I needed to get some Chinese Yuan and stock up on noodles before venturing out into the wilds of China. Getting cash was a bit of a problem. It took a while before I found an ATM that would take my card. I seem to remember there were only certain banks that accepted my card the last time I was here.
How different China is from Kazakhstan. There are so many new high-rise buildings going up. There’s plenty of fruit and veg for sale in the street markets, which isn’t hidden behind closed doors as it was in Kazakhstan. And as for the street traders with their BBQs selling every kind of meat and vegetable on wooden skewers. I loved those, although I’d forgotten how hot and spicy some of the food can be!
Don’t forget the main reason behind my ride. I want to raise as much money for cancer research charities as possible. After my wife, Josie, died of breast cancer in 2007, aged only 42. Even the smallest donation helps. You can donate to Cancer Research UK or the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation. Click on either one to donate. Every little bit helps to rid the world of this cruel disease.
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