Our local guide stood at the front of the bus and waxed lyrical about the lovely new road ahead.  It had been built to replace 2 previous roads and cut the journey from 6 hours to 2 hours.  Part way along this lovely road we had to turn off and use the old road – a truck had damaged one of the tunnels.  This road was so rough that items were flung off the carry racks above our heads.  Memories of the previous ‘short cut’ which added hours to a past journey and resulted in a flat tyre.  Luckily it wasn’t too long that we had to use that road.
The checkpoints in this area are extremely serious.  Around Kashgar they were very serious.  Before that they were only selfie-serious.  Our tour guide was detained for about half an hour at a checkpoint because she lacked the proper paperwork.  We had already submitted detailed paperwork in order to get our Visa before leaving Australia so we were okay.  A few phone calls later we were able to carry on.
We arrived at Karakul lake which is huge blue and surrounded by sand.  We had tea in a Yurt.  The detailed handiwork to create the Yurt was impressive.