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The Stunning Adventures "Not all those who wander are lost." Tolkien

Khongoryn Els Up Close Day 2

MONGOLIA | Tuesday, 24 July 2007 | Views [860]

Greg and Friends at Our Campsite

Greg and Friends at Our Campsite

A wakeful state probably hit us around 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning, as this is the time that the temperature starts to rise (especially inside our tent).  It was our second day of our camel trek in the Gobi, and it was hot and dry, and we were sweaty and thirsty.  We were still tired, so we both attempted to fall back into the solace that sleep provides from the heat.  This was a losing battle, and we finally started to get up and out of the tent around 8:30.  We had underestimated how much water we would all need, so there was no water to make coffee:(  We did have enough water for the 7 hours back to the ger camp, but it was going to be tight.  As we got up and packed, it was immediately obvious that Boska was out trying to round up the camels, that had strayed during the night.  It took him quite some time to get them all together and he did not return until around 10:45.  We were all ready to go, so we hauled our sore butts into the scantily padded saddles around 11:00, at which point it was even hotter and drier.  This morning also marked Gregor's (Pokemon's) 24th birthday, but none of us were quite energetic enough to do more than wish him a "Happy Birthday".  This all sounds quite miserable, but it wasn't all that bad, especially when we were on our way.  It had been an incredible experience to ride camels out into the middle of the sand dunes of the Gobi desert, pitch a tent, and spend a night in utter solitude in the middle of nowhere. 
 
On the way back to the ger, we came across a small ravine that had been carved in the sand by a small creek.  We could not believe our eyes when we saw water, even though it was not potable; the camels had a hey-day of it though.  Seeing a camel drink is hilarious.  They first shape there mouth into a little circle, using it as a straw, through which they suck huge amounts of water.  After drinking, the camel will violently shake its head, lips flapping all over the place, to expel any excess water; then start all over again.  From a distance, it must appear that either our camels are going nuts, or they thought we all really needed a shower.  After riding for two hours, we were all hungry, and our butts desperately needed a break.  We stopped for lunch next to the small stream.  We rested for 2 hours, which was sooo nice.  We both drifted off for a short kip, while the camels grazed.  
 
After lunch, we all remounted our steeds and headed back to the ger.  We found some wild berries at the mid-way point, which were a bit like huckleberries and quite nice.  The camels also loved them, so we were nearly thrown off the camels when they decided, mid-stride, to stop and have a snack.  The camels could be quite ornery at times, and sometimes, down-right non-responsive; but this is all part of their charm.  After the berry break, Dave's and Gregor's rears were unable to take the beating that the ride was giving them, and they opted to walk back the rest of the way.  At this point, the ger was nearly in sight, so they did not mind.  Toni, Greg, and Elizabeth, although sore, were determined to stick it out until the end. 
 
When we finally got back to the ger camp, 5-1.5 liter bottles of water disappeared almost instantaneously.  We were so hot and so thirsty, it was ridiculous.  After rehydrating a bit, the five of us sat back in bed to relax a bit before dinner.  Being his birthday and all, Gregor went to the ger owner to request something special for dinner, and special it was!  Guess what it was?  That's right!  Mutton and noodles!  Although it was not something original, it did taste quite nice.  We had bought a few beers in Dalanzadgad, so we all tipped back a couple beers to toast Gregor's 24th.  Boska even showed up and had brought a present for the birthday boy, a big aluminum pot full of airag (fermented mare's milk).  After an absolutely beautiful sunset and the celebratory drinks, our exhausted and dehydrated bodies barely hit the sheets before we were all asleep. 

Tags: The Great Outdoors

 

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