We took the last train in, scoring sleeper berths and waking as we wound our way out of a section of the Tian Shan / Heavenly Mountains. And now we’ll ride the first bus out, too. Not a bad place here in Kuqa, and some of the friendliest folks we’ve met so far. Site of the former Qiuci Kingdom (whose last king still lives!), as well as the ancient city-state that first transmitted Buddhism to China. Great mutton-filled buns, too. But when we found out that tomorrow’s outbound (Friday) bus is already filled, while today’s still has tickets, our hand was forced. So now, after lunch and a wander, we’re going to make like the looted Buddhist frescoes around here and never return. Hosh!