Day 53: Cairima (采日玛) – August 9

After the morning’s interesting views, it was still early when we got back into town. We took a break, and actually found a buddy to go on the same route as us so we saved some transportation costs by buddying up with him, since it is common here to pay random people with cars to take you to places. It’s surprisingly effective, and so far every driver has been surprisingly nice, despite their sketchy looks!

In the region of Maqu at the town of Awancang (阿万仓), the scenery of the Yellow River branches is so awesome that you will be scared to miss one bit of it (as described by the Lonely Planet). The plan is to go to Awancang to see sunset and then head over to a neighbouring town of Cairima to stay for the night and catch the sunrise, which was supposedly the best place to see it in the area.

Weather was great all day with atmospheric clouds and blue skies, but when we got to the top of the mountain to catch the sunset, dark clouds formed and we got crappy weather!!! Too bad. The sun was set and the roads were very sketchy, no street lamps, twisting turns and rough bumps made it a very scary ride…. We also didn’t know how small the town was until we got there. There were NO street lamps, and the next morning when I actually saw it did I realize there was probably less than 50 people in the thing! We heard that, roads were built into this town only 5 years ago. I’m not sure how, but they actually had a motel available, and was VERY clean (for its location). It was pretty old school though, and to put it into perspective, they had a bucket of dried cow manure for you burn in the stove to keep warm in cold nights. (THE POOP STORIES DON’T SEEM TO STOP).

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