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Sandstorms and Yaks
Submitted by Tiffany on 19 September, 2009 - 11:46
Two days of being chauffeured around in a trusty Russian jeep which was fine until I looked under the bonnet and noticed it was all held together with bits of wire (and I don't even know much about engines).
Reminder to self, don't go lifting bonnets of vehicles you are travelling in unless you want a shock.
I had the highly unusual experience of seeing yaks in the middle of a desert - not normally known for their love of sweltering temperatures, these ones live in an isolated ice-filled valley close to the centre of the Gobi, usually the valley is covered with several metres of ice all year round except for a couple of months in summer.
Our driver Timbe was excellent at handling the jeep inthe sand and assured me I would have got my bike through it.
We passed remote gers in the most bleakest landscapes imaginable with no visible sources of water and not a scrap of greenery anywhere.
We camped by the largest sand dunes in the Gobi - over 300 metres high- incredibly dramatic in appearance though not to be repeated in the photos as a sandstorm blew up and our view of them was not good. The next morning the sandstorm had worsened and there was no sun for over three hours -so our plan to get sunrise pictures was abandoned; instead we struggled to get our tents down in the storm.
Our final destination were the Flaming Cliffs- a mini- Grand Canyon of red coloured escarpments and bluffs famous for their dinosaur fossils, once more the sandstorm beat us there so although we could see the cliffs, it was at great personal risk of being blown over the edge of them.