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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.

tourists on a camel ride
at the top
sand beetle

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.

morning textures
mother goat and kid
morning reflections

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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