Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Gobi Hoboes

Sunday 24th April. For what purports to be a desert area, the Gobi seems to receive an inordinate amount of precipitation, and yesterday we woke once more to a driving sleet and snow blizzard. We made the wise decision to delay our start - the weather had calmed down by late morning and we set out through a low mist. This put paid to my intentions of cutting across the desert to the abandoned oasis of Ku Shui, as visibility was limited and we had no intention of adding to the bones which litter the Gobi. Here is one we saw earlier. However it was not long before we were battling against a fierce and freezing head wind. And then a dust storm loomed up but luckily passed high over us as we sheltered by an underpass, spattering us in mud.
It’s behind you! ……
Peng has an uncanny ability to sniff out the nearest human lifeform serving noodles for miles, but yesterday even he was defeated by the Gobi and we spent our first night away from human habitation. With the wind still blowing, the ever resourceful Peng found us this sheltered though not particularly quiet retreat under the G3.
Rowena soon had a cheery fire going which looked most romantic as dark fell …… …….but the flashlight revealed her in her second life as a bag lady eking out an existence in the underpasses of the Gobi. Today we had a long trudge to Yandun, the Kotzyentun or Pigeon Rock where French and Cable stayed. Although the old settlement has long since been swallowed up by desert sands, the red cliffs inhabited by pigeons they described are easily recognisable, and Rowena even saw some rock doves nearby.

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