Monday, 24 May 2010

White Gobi

Wed 22nd April. This strangely confident road sign we encountered just before we entered the Gobi proper became self explanatory when we woke up at Liuyuan truck town yesterday to find blizzard conditions had set in again. However the weather brightened up in the afternoon although it was still bitterly cold and we were wearing nearly our entire wardrobe in an attempt to keep warm. In true form, Peng managed to find a little camp of construction workers who let us park the truck by them and fed us a wonderful noodle supper cooked in an oil drum – below is the camp cook in his kitchen tent.
Rowena and I narrowly escaped freezing overnight in tent and truck respectively, but Peng of course somehow managed to wangle a place in one of the stove heated tents!

This morning dawned bright and we rode through some beautiful desert scenery of plains stretching away to far hills. In the afternoon we reached Malianjing, where French and Cable reported seeing the wild irises which give the oasis its name though it was too early in the year for us. In the photo below the white is not snow, but the white alkaline deposits which are typical of Gobi waterholes. Once again the inimitable Peng has managed to find us food and lodgings courtesy of the Hua Zhong construction company building the G3 expressway – this time in the site managers headquarters in Malienjing! Here we are with some of the genial hosts who rescued us from another arctic night.

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