I am in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. The roads have been extremely remote with long stretches between villages. The “Great Fire Wall of China” has made things extremely difficult for me in that all western websites are blocked! I am currently using a strange virtual private network to get around this system but so far this is the worst country for internet use!!! The government also controls all the guest houses and hotels making it hard for me to find a place to stay outside of a large city. It took me 3 hours yesterday to find a hotel, here in the capital that would accept foreigners.
The roads to the city were crazy, think trucks, tractors, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians all jammed onto a small road in the pouring rain. I am headed south from Urumqi to Bayingol and hope to find some smaller less frequented roads. There are people everywhere here! No mater how remote my campsite is someone always shows up usually yelling into their cell phone. El Nino is in full swing over here and I have witnessed a few flash floods. China requires lots of patience, but at least my grasp of the language is pretty good! I will write again in the next few days but a lot of times even if there is internet there is no guarantee that I can access wordpress and or google. I am sure its a mater of Chinese national security.