Camp 9 – Bayanzag South Gobi

The hottest day so far this trip! We left our most southern camp this morning after the night of playing with hopping mice and hedgehogs (three of them at our ger) and headed North East to Byanzag. We said goodbye to the Gobi Sand dunes too. The trip was back through the rocky mountains we had travelled through, but this time on the other side. We drove through some narrow mountain passes and eventually came out at a long plain that took hours of rocky road to cross. The plain was so hot the car temperature gauge read 45 degrees celsius as the hottest we noticed. There was no shade anywhere to stop for lunch; just the narrow shadow of our car. It wa so hot we barely stopped for lunch because it meant no breeze or air con.

Out in the middle of these plains and at a cross road between two mountain ranges was a market stall. A group of people with tables selling rocks from the nearby mountains, antique spear head tools and some dusty camel felt toys.

I bought a piece of blue crystalline rock I wish I new more about. Sometimes in this landscape I am sorry I did not study geology. There were so many beautiful rocks here and if they all came from these mountain, how rich they are! Some of the thunderbolt agate that emerges from the most unassuming rocks is just stunning.

We were fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to see a herd of gazelle racing across the plains. It was a rare sight; first we saw a couple of gazelle running from our left and we tried to photograph them and as we watched where they were heading we saw a herd of many hundred flying across the plains. Never seen anything run so fast, run like the wind. We stopped the car and waited and to our surprise they came back our way and across the road ahead of us.
They were too far to get a really good video but it was wonderful to know they are here and see.

We stopped for petrol at a remote sum Bulgan. It’s extraordinary to find these settlements out in the middle of seemingly nowhere. And it was so hot. At the bowser before us was a man in a deel filling up a jerry can and his wife and child standing by. They all got back on the bike together and rode back into the sum. Interesting how often the petrol places are out of town.

We drove on and on and eventually reached our destination for the night and the extraordinary landscape of the flaming cliffs. This is the place where the famous Mongolian dinaseour bones have been found. There is also much petrified forest and other interesting stones. The cliffs are indeed red, such red ochre sand with strange bits of conglomerate rocks running through the layers.

We are at a camp that is busy with politicians spread their propaganda thought this land.

Tomorrow we head back to the white stupa for the night, back tracking to Ulaanbaatar.

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