Kumul to Turpan, Xinjiang, China
Team Road of Smiles
North Face Minibus 2 Tent,
3 Mounds Avenue, nr Turpan,
The Taklamakan Desert,
Cloud 4, Cumulonimbus Towers,
Dear Wind God,
Can you please bugger orf? Seriously, you have been blowing into our faces now for two weeks without letting up. We were willing to accept that you were perpetually of north-easterly origin and were thus most excited by the prospect of finally heading southwest towards Turpan. Why would you choose the same day to change your daily routine?
We must inform you, if it was not obvious already, that climbing steadily uphill for two days straight takes its toll on two young chaps. The scenery may seem quite spectacular to outside observers, which we would agree it is, but the pictures do not tell the stories of hardship that we encounter on a daily basis: the melting chocolate, the over friendly neighbours, the saddle sore treatment etc etc. To unleash your fury on us, not only whilst riding but also when we are trying to stealth camp, really is a most unwarranted act of selfishness.
Do not misunderstand us, we are grateful for your existence especially as we enter a region that has recorded the third hottest temperature in the world. We need you, your cool caressing and your gentle touch. But we ask you, dear Wind God, work with us, not against us. Aim at our backs not at our foreheads. Take us in your powerful arms and propel us forward to our loved ones. Give help not hindrance to allow us to enjoy the vineyards, the weird brick buildings that do not seem to have any function, and the plaster-made diplodocuses on the side of the road.
This will be our final warning Wind God. You have chosen to ignore our verbal grievances and this will be our last friendly exchange. If by noon tomorrow we do not feel you have shifted your direction we will be left with no choice but to go to the big man himself. Yes, you heard us, we know Xi Jinping, we used to play Majhong together back in the day and one more gust from you in the wrong direction will result in the daddy of all retribution. Everyone knows that nature can defeat man but nature will never defeat the Middle Kingdom.
Team Road of Smiles (don’t make us change our name!)