Khongoryn Els sand dunes, South Gobi
We got to the Juurchin camp at Khongoryn Els around 3.30pm. It was
hot and windy and after settling in to our gers we sat under the deck
of the restaraunt. There were views of the sand dunes to the south,
but there wasn't much else around and the camp was fairly primitive
(though the gers did have power).
We drove 7km to the "singing" section of the sands, to the west of
the camp. These looked like the film conception of the "Gobi desert",
though sand dunes actually make up only a small and atypical fraction of
the Gobi. Peter and Bolormaa and I climbed to the top of the dunes --
which must have been nearly 200m high — and Gabi made it half way up.
evening: river, bank, sand dunes, mountains, sky
After we drove back to the camp, the others settled in, but I walked
maybe three kilometres down to the river that runs by the side of the
dunes. There were camels, some cranes, and unidentified small birds,
but also sandflies, which made an otherwise lovely spot not so fun to
hang around in.
Friday 8th July
We got up earlyish, hoping to see animals in the morning. Driving east
again, towards the area we'd climbed the dunes the previous day, we
spotted half a dozen gazelles. The riding camels weren't ready yet,
so we abandoned that idea.
The first waterhole we looked at was a disappointment, but the second was
more substantial — there were no animals, but the scenery was attractive.
We then set off on the long drive back the way we'd came. Fortunately it
was overcast and not as hot as we'd feared.
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