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


MONGOLIA | Wednesday, 25 July 2007 | Views [3160]



Bayanzag is a particularly beautiful area, a huge shelf of rock and sand that descends down into many canyons that meander down to the desert floor.  The rock and sand were an array of colors from yellow, orange and red, setting a breathtaking backdrop.  The Slovenian-Australian contingent headed straight out onto the shelf, while we chose the first available path down into a canyon.  This proved the wiser choice as we started to see dinosaur bones almost immediately.  Some bones were questionable in authenticity, as we are not trained to distinguish rock from fossil; while others were quite obvious.  The first one that we saw appeared to be a joint of some sort, maybe a shoulder.  Funds do not exist in Mongolia to protect these areas from invasive onlookers, so there are no ropes, fences, or anything to protect the partially unearthed bones.  The lack of protection allowed us to get up close and really experience the site.  We walked all around through several different canyons, exploring all that we could.  We found one gigantic fossil that appears to have been a hip joint of an enourmous dinosaur.  While we both feel that sites like Bayanzag need to be protected and preserved for later generations and for scientific study, we felt very lucky to have had complete freedom in our wanderings and explorations. 
When we got back to the top of the rock shelf, 2 hours later, we walked back to the van to find Dave.  We asked him what fossils he had seen.  He looked at us a bit bewildered with a hint of frustration.  He turned to us and said, "Is this where we were supposed to see the dinosaur bones, I wish someone would have told me.  I thought we were going somewhere else after this to see the bones."  He wasn't frustrated with us, but with our driver.  As previously stated, the language barrier was quite high and nearly impenetrable; disallowing clarification.  We had already known to expect the bones and assumed everybody else did, too.  We headed to look at some souvenir tables and the beverage cart, while Dave dashed into the nearest canyon to get a quick glimpse of some fossils before we had to leave. 
Once we were all back in the van, we headed straight out into the desert, off the road.  We drove 15 minutes until coming to a small smattering of gers, which would now be our temporary home.  We settled in, and the two of us broke out our game "The Setterlers of Catan" and had at it.  After the game, the five of us congregated outside on our stools to watch the sun go down.  While the sun set, we took some fun photos and drank a few beers before retiring for the night. 

Tags: The Great Outdoors


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