Gobi Desert Greetings!

Wednesday, September 1, 2004
From giant sand dunes almost a kilometer high to flaming red cliffs and grazing camels, there is a lot to see in the Gobi desert… you just have a few hundred kilometers before the scenery changes! On the first day we even got to drive through a dry canyon. We spent each night with local herdsman families… all of whom keep goats, sheep, camels and horses. Hundreds and hundreds of them! Those camels really stink and you especially notice the smell when the entire herd parks themselves outside the door to your ger.

There are so few people living in the Gobi desert (.3 per square kilometer to be exact) we only passed six vehicles in five days we were there. Four of those were full of tourists and the other two were locals that our driver knew. It’s good to have the tracks all to yourself though because every car leaves a dust storm their wake. The scenery in the desert was breathtaking. Everywhere you looked was a picture perfect postcard! Coincidentally, the airport in the Gobi was also the only place in the country we managed to find postcards.

Now that we are back in the capital and have taken a much deserved shower we are heading to the Natural History museum where they house all the dinosaur bones found out in the desert. Those bones not located in this museum can be seen in New York’s Natural History museum. It’s where the archeologist who discovered the pre-historic existence of Gobi dinosaurs went to work when his expeditions in Mongolia came to an end. Is it still called smuggling if it ends up in a museum?

Anyway, we hop on the train again tomorrow! After just a mere 38 hours the train will arrive in Siberia. From what we have heard, the train actually spends nine hours at the border between Mongolia and Russia!


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