Saturday, July 18, 2009

May 27 Across the faces of snow-covered mountain 翻過冰雪覆蓋的大阪

Happy as we are, the road to Bayanbulak 巴音布魯克草原 is not with obstacles. We have to climb and cross this section of great Tien Shan 天山, on winding road over faces of mountain (local calls 大阪), we are still hours away and Huang Zheng continue to warn that we will very possible miss the sunset if we stop photography too often! Warning is a matter, incapable of stopping is another. While continue to ascent, we were again move above snow line, approx. 3,000 meters above sea level and the road becomes slippery. But what a beautiful ride! Took quite a few pictures using Nikon D3X with AF-S VR 70-200/2.8G IF-ED.The shepherd and the herds of sheep on the grassland.Sheep on the snow-melting hillBeautiful winding roads and views, also with Nikon D3X.Pook and Neo牛哥Some shots with Nikon D3 with AF-S 24-70/2.8G ED, the strong wind ripple the surface of the snow.This one a closer shot, using Canon G10.But soon we arrived at a section where the entire road was blocked for paving, totally stop the traffic from both direction of highway. Coming this far, we are certainly not willing to accept to have to wait for hours before the heavy road paving machine to clear itself, while waiting, Neo went on to survey alternative route, and it did not take long to find out, and we ended up have a short section of exciting off-road - watch the video.
And finally, the road becomes smooth again, and we are heading to Bayanbulak! Everybody is happy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

May 27, destination: Bayanbulak 巴音布魯克草原, finally!

Slowly we arrival upon kilo zero 零公里, and YES, the road is opened again, and we start our slow ascent to the mountain. We were at least somewhat relaxed, cheered up, yet the routine is pretty much the same, we stopped here and there, and take more pictures, and it is a wonderful day!
These two taken with Nikon D3X with AF-S 24-70/2.8G ED. First one, a horse rest by the small stream, what a peaceful view.This one, nice contrast of trees, in black and white.Continue to ascent, the stream becomes narrower, and wilder. This one, with D3X and AF-S VR 70-200/2.8G IF-ED, shot on the cliff for this bird-eye view of running stream. Two more shots with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70/2.8G ED.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

May 27, Nalati to Kilo Zero 零公里

Ok, what is kilo zero 零公里? Quite straight forward, it is the start of Du-Ku Highway 獨庫公路, our entry point to Bayabulak 巴音布魯克草原 - if we were to make it there today, rather than taking all the way back to Urumqi to take other route. This is not unusual in Xinjiang by the way, especially the great diversity in landscape and weather, constant road building and improvement and maintenance. Anyway, back on our route.
Although the worry never really did subside, we continue drawn by the beautiful landscapes, ask Neo to stop so we can take more pictures, while Huang Zheng continue to warn us the goal today is moving to Kill Zero, and has to pass the check point - something we all wish to happen but not quite sure.
This one is taken with Nikon D3X, while apporaching Kilo Zero, about to enter the mountain area and can start to see more herds of sheep, cattles and horses, watch the video. This one, a quick snapshot of tress on the roadside, with Canon G10.Another G10 shot on beautiful Nalati. And the video clip from G10, by Pook.Pook was taking picture with her Canon G10, and a snapshot of her.A 4-capture stitch using D3 with AF-S 24-70/2.8G ED.And a G10 shot on the lonely horse. And these two with Nikon D3 + AF-S 24-70/2.8G ED.And this one, with my wife, Pook training her Canon G10, Huang Zheng and Neo slightly below the Land Cruiser in the center of the picture, also with Nikon D3.