Shipwreck Rock

Just near the Flaming Cliffs stands Shipwreck Rock.  Nearby we found an overlooking ridge and I asked Simya to take my photo.  After a dozen attempts, he just could not get it right.  So, I took a few shots and on the 3rd attempt I captured the above photo.  As we drove closer we crested a small bluff and I asked him to stop the truck because I thought that it would make a great photo (below).  I was very happy that we decided to visit the Flaming Cliffs and Shipwreck Rock in the morning as the rising sun really accented the red color of the rocks.


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Multsuk Sand Dunes

I’ve always liked sand dunes, so I was excited to see the sand dunes in the Gobi.  We were nearing the end of a long day and the chance to stretch our legs while climbing the dunes was a welcome break from the truck.  It was still quite cold outside; not as cold as the North Gobi, but it was still only hit a high of about 18 Celsius (about -8 F).  I had Simya drop me off at the first dune while he and Soyoloo drove on to the next – in this way I was able to shoot a photo of our truck in front of the dunes to give them some scale of size.

In every direction there was nothing but desert.  For the entire afternoon we didn’t see anyone at all and it was nice to have the entire horizon to myself…

It is quite amazing to see the dunes just rise up out of the desert, the floor of the desert is small pebble and rock and the sand dune just climbs above it all.

I noticed how any object left laying on the floor of the desert (in this case a camel terd) collects sand as the wind blows it.  I began to wonder if at the bottom of each of these large dunes rested a camel or horse…?


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thrown out of town

Half-way into my third day in the Gobi Desert, we had a scheduled stop in a small town where we planned to have lunch at a local cafe.  Soyoloo has been taking his clients to this cafe for years and he said that the food was delicious.  5 hours into our drive I was looking forward to a leg stretch and some good food.

Just as soon as we parked, the local policeman drove up and approached us.  He motioned that we needed to put on masks; he seemed quite worried that we would give him the swine flu.  Soyoloo asked me to put my camera away as he was afraid that the policeman would not want his photo taken.  The policeman ordered that we put on our surgical masks.  The problem was that we didn’t have any masks.  Simya offered to go to the store to buy some but the policeman then abruptly ordered us to leave town.  It really seemed that he was afraid that we would infect the town with H1N1.  In order to “stealthily” take his photo, I set my camera up and took a timed photo of myself while Soyoloo and the policeman argued a bit about our fate in the small town.

As the policeman ordered us out of town, I took a photo of the local school and a little K9 pal that came to ask for a snack.  The dog was the only one in town who wasn’t afraid of the Swine Flu scare.

While shooting the dog & school, I managed to work my way around to the vehicle and took a photo of the poliecman who banished us.  After he departed, Soyoloo gave me the bad news; we were kicked out of town and had to leave immediately.  Soyoloo asked him if we could at least buy some food in the local market.  We were told we had 15 minutes and then we had to leave.  We picked up some noodles and dessert and quickly left town.

A few miles outside of town we set our truck upwind and made camp for lunch.  Using our propane stove we boiled some water for our noodles and made the best of the situation.  While Soyoloo was cooking, I enjoyed the natural desert landscape and found it to be peaceful and beautiful.

Lunch was nice and we had some good laughs.  Once we got back on the road we passed another pack of camels.  It is amazing that in such a dry and inhospitable place that there is so much life.


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