Photo: Entering China the hard way

I don’t imagine a lot of people are travelling the Karakoram Highway in this post 9/11 world, but back in 1995 it was relatively easy to traverse this route between Pakistan and China.

This photo was taken on May 2 at the China-Pakistan border. We had hoped to cross the frontier on May 1, the first day the road, which is the highest paved international road in the world, was open for the season, but because May Day is a holiday in China, we had to stay in Pakistan another night.

When we did make the crossing, we were high in the mountains and the only indication of the border was a painted line on the road and this marker. There was no one there, but a herd of yaks. It was cold, windy and snowing as we snapped this shot marking our milestone.

We drove several more kilometres down the road until we found a lonely border outpost where baby-faced Chinese soldiers who were barely 18 didn’t know what to make of a group of shaggy foreigners entering their country.

The soldiers searched our jeep and our bags then waved us on and we continued our drive to Tashkurgan where we didn’t actually get our passports stamped until the following afternoon.

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