Jiayuguan pass marks the most westerly point of the Great Wall (Cháng chéng).
The fort controlled the route through the Silk Road between the Qilian Shan mountain range and the Black Mountains in Gansu province, and was built in 1372, after the establishment of the Ming dynasty.
We concluded that the fort was practically wheelchair accessible.
The fort was set against a stunning backdrop of desert and mountains.
Sneaking into someone’s photo.
Inside the fort was an assortment of buildings, including an opera theatre and a temple.
Lai Fang and Anna.
We met a man who has performed Kung Fu in London for the past two years, who showed us some moves, and let me hold the sword!
We were somewhat the subject of mass speculation, as people pushed their children into taking photographs with the ‘laowei’ or foreigner.
The Great Wall extending from the fortress.
Snow-capped Qilian Mountains.
After the fortress we went into the Badain Jaran desert to take sand dune samples, which will help to determine the source of the loess sediment in the Chinese Loess Plateau, as the Badain Jaran desert is upwind from the plateau and may show similarities in mineral content.
The road looked like this the whole way in, often with trucks carrying coal across the desert from Alxa, where we stayed before.
It was pretty windy!