I got up and went to the long distance bus station to find a car to drive the 700 km or so back to Wulumuqi. On hearing I was looking for a car the Uigur taxi driver who took me to the station started acting like a prick and trying to get involved in the deal. It was completely unreasonable since I was not using his help in any way. I had previously been to the long distance bus station to check out the car situation and I knew where they left from. He started getting violent and in the end the Chinese taxi driver whose car I took gave him RMB 50 just to go away. Uigurs have an annoying way of sometimes making simple situations very complicated, as well as manhandling people on the slightest of pretexts.
I wanted to take a taxi back to Wulumuqi so I could stop off and check out the scenery on the way, particularly Lake Sailimu (èµ›é‡Œæœ¨æ¹–). Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. As we left Yining and headed up into the mountains it began snowing quite heavily. By the time we reached Lake Sailimu the snow was heavy enough that there was not much visibility. I took a couple of photographs of the sign saying â€˜Lake Sailimuâ€™, but the lake itself was almost invisible. The car got stuck in a snowdrift by the lake and we were stuck for 15 minutes or so getting it out. Strangely once we passed the main scenic area the snow suddenly stopped and the lake was once again clear. I got some better shots from that point.
After passing the lake and climbing back down the other side of the mountains the scenery changed to desert, and this lasted the rest of the way back to Wulumuqi. The mountain area was nice, but the last part of the drive was tedious.
The driver was a nice guy and bought tea and lunch during the drive. Once back in Wulumuqi he introduced another hotel, perfectly OK and well located but cheaper than either the Peacock or the Huadu. After checking in I quickly dropped by Fubar, had some Lanzhou beef noodles on the way back to my hotel, and went to sleep.