Travelling In The Gobi Desert Day 6 A Vagabond Life
Travelling In The Gobi Desert Day 6
Yolyn Am to Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes or Duut Mankhan The Singing Dunes.
A clear still morning in the Gobi Desert meant I could get the drone up for a look around and I finally figured out how to get the pano function working.
We packed our tents ups and set out stopping first at the nearly Nature Museum which had numerous stuffed animals from the region including the rare wild two hump camel, Arbali sheep, Ibex and Wolf. We gave Victor the challenge of finding us a wolf in the wild – he just laughed and “said no one sees wolves om Mongolia anymore”
Off we went again starting the journey on bitumen road and climbing to an altitude to 7600 feet crossing the Altai mountains. After 45 km we turned off the paved road back on to tracks and travelled through plains with the imposing jaggered mountains in the distance.
As we drove we were surrounded by the Altai mountains, we passed a salt lake and stopped for lunch in a stunning canyon with a stream running through it.
We continued across the plain and after a while the sand dunes appeared on our left, they are up to 300m high, 12km wide and about 100km long and make a ‘singing’ sound when it is windy or there is a sand avalanche.
There is a small river running along the base of the dunes providing water for stock, due to this water many Nomads live and herd in this area. There is also a number of tourist camps as the dunes are a big tourist destination.
We arrived at our camp for the night, a Nomads Ger with extra Gers for visitors. Very nice, clean and comfortable. Over a cup of tea with our host we were told that there had been severe weather warnings issued for the Gobi, snow and dust storms were on the way. The wind was picking up and the sky was very dark and stormy looking.
Our hosts ran a number of animals most of which were still on the other side of the dunes waiting for rain to bring better grazing on the side we were on which was their summer base. When the nomads bring the rest of the stock to the summer pasture they drive them across the dunes on camels, I would have loved to see them driving the sheep and goats on camels.
We were asked if we would like to ride a camel. ‘Sure we said’ So the camel herders saddled up a few camels for us to ride and we took a leisurely ride across the Gobi Desert in howling wind for an hour. Very weird riding a two hump camel, you are perched in between the two humps and can’t go forwards or backwards, I have to say it wasn’t the most comfortable animal to ride but it was a fun experience.
That night we had to batten down the hatches as the wind roared around our Ger and we marvelled at the design of the structure which was absolutely rock solid in the gale.
Originally we planned to spend 2 nights at the Sand Dunes, however over the next few days we had an enormous amount of kms to cover we decided to move on earlier and break the journey up so the next day we would be off to something called Flaming Cliffs.
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