The Gobi – Day Two

After having had a great start to our trip and having had our first night in a ger, our second day started out rather humorously.  It was an early morning and for the most part, I think that we all slept fairly well, considering the small space we were crammed into.  With the family already up and about, starting their daily chores, we quickly realized how changing our clothes would be quite an adventure.  Having little other choice, we all started wriggling in our respective sleeping bags as the entire family watched us struggle.  And the thing was, they all watched us the whole time without showing any emotion.  We were all laughing and giggling, but if there was ever a definition for stoic, these people were it – I’m certain that the family just didn’t quite know what to make of us…

Having successfully freshened up with new outfits, or as Jen had proclaimed triumphantly, “Presto Change-O!!!”, we were ready to take on another day in the Gobi.  Before we set off though, we had the opportunity to watch the family milk their goats.  Looking back, I’m not sure why we were so excited to see this, but you probably just had to be there.  Still, it was great to watch real people go about their daily lives and to see how these people lived.  Jen even tried her hand at milking a goat.

Gobi Day Two - Goats

The father of the family in whose ger we stayed,
as well as his own father, working together to gather
and sort each of their respective goats into lines.

Gobi Day Two - Goats 2

Everyone helps out with the chores.  We even helped
to cordone off a few rogue goats trying to run away
before they could be tied together!

Gobi Day Two - Family PhotoOur host family, as well as some relatives who
happened to stop by as we were taking our photo.

We were ready to set off on the next leg of our journey, yet, our trusty Furgon was being not so trusty.  Because the previous night was so cold, the battery was just too cold and we couldn’t get enough draw from it to start the vehicle.  Our first morning in the desert and we were already having problems.  It was an ominous sign of things to come…

Taking the battery out of the car and leaving it in the ger for a half hour to warm up didn’t seem to help much either.  So what else could we do?  Pffff.  Easy answer.  Light a fire under the van to warm it up.  Yes, that’s correct.  That’s not a typo.  Dawaa seriously lit a fire under the vehicle.  I had contemplated taking a photo, but for some odd reason, I didn’t quite feel like getting too close…

After wandering around the desert for some time, keeping a safe distance from the van, Dawaa eventually did manage to start our vehicle.  Whew.  Not stranded.  So off we went, headed towards the Flaming Cliffs, a place famous for not only it’s glowingly vivid red colours, but also for being a site of significant paleontological value – among other fossils, it is here that the first dinosaur eggs were discovered.

Gobi Day Two - Dawaa Speeding Through

Midway through our journey, Dawaa told us to
get out of the van.  We were a little confused,
but we complied.  Apparently he wanted a photo
of him driving through the desert kicking up a
trail of dust.  On some of the smoother parts of
our journey, we could actually travel quite quickly,
around 80km/h.  Now that’s off-roading!

As we got off to such a late start due to the delay in getting our van started, we arrived too late to actually see anything at the Flaming Cliffs.  We also passed through the Gobi Forest on our way to the cliffs after dark, so we missed that too.  However, we were staying nearby the cliffs that night, so we would have the opportunity to see the cliffs the next morning.  So stay tuned for “The Gobi – Day Three!!”

Gobi Day Three - Camels at SunriseA little preview of day 3 – walking out of our ger
before sunrise to catch the cliffs in the early morning
sun, we were treated with our first encounter with
Gobi camels.

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~ by dawseng on November 16, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Gobi – Day Two”

  1. Great photos, Jeff! Your description of the trip is giving me the travel bug!

  2. Thanks. With some of the sights that we’ve seen, it’s pretty hard not to take nice photos! And hey, it has been a while since your last trip hasn’t it? We’re only 12 time zones away…

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