Ever since I read about the world’s eight Poles of Inaccessibility – while carrying out research for Dreams Before the Start of Time – I hoped that one day I’d reach the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility.
Last month I made it!
In Dreams Before the Start of Time, Toni and Atticus have a conversation on a train about this particular pole. The conversation takes place towards the end of the novel, but that’s not a spoiler!
So, here I am, standing at the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility – one of several stopping off points during a month-long journey taking in Kazakhstan and China. This pole marks the most distant point on the Eurasian land mass from the coastline. Geographers have hotly debated its precise location, but in any case a monument was built in the 1990s, so that’s where Garry and I headed! It’s located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the far northwest of China, towards the Kazakhstan border, southwest of Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
The monument is impressive – judge for yourselves from the photos – and the setting is stark. It felt REMOTE!
This proved to be one of the highlights of the trip. We travelled by Russian and Kazakh trains from Paris to Moscow, onwards to Astana and Almaty in Kazakhstan, and from there to Ürümqi in China. We then took a flight to Beijing before returning home this week.
I’ll be writing more blogposts about the trip when I’ve unpacked!