For a change we had some spare time during our mission so it was decided that we would go on a short tour of the Xinjiang desert south of Urumqi. There was myself, Fei Deng and Jean-Marie Braun. We were joined by several people from the project office who would be our hosts for the trip. The plan was to drive to the ‘Flaming Mountains’ and then to the ‘Cave of the Thousand Buddhas’. We would then visit the ‘Gaochang Ruins’ and the ‘Grape Valley’ before the others would head back to Urumqi. I would spend the night in Turpan before catching the bus back the following morning.