No­madic life in the wilds of the Gobi Desert in Mon­go­lia

Conor MacNeill on vis­it­ing a unique Mon­go­lian land­scape, where gi­ant dunes roll up against fer­tile marshes

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Contents - @the­fella

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– the moun­tains fell away and we were lef t with rock y deser t to the feet of the gi­gan­tic dunes emerg­ing in the dis­tance. The slopes of the moun­tains guide wa­ter into a sub­ter­ranean river here, which feeds an oa­sis. It’s mind-blow­ing to have bar­ren deser t be­hind you, seem­ingly end­less sand dunes ahead, and yet a wa­ter y marsh ap­pear­ing in-be­tween. The colour con­trast was re­mark­able – the greener y leapt out against the yel­low y-beige of the dunes. We stayed with Baasan­huu (pic­tured on pre­vi­ous page and op­po­site), who runs a ger camp in this re­mote place. He and his fam­ily spend the sum­mer there, then head back to Ulaan­baatar so the chil­dren can go to school. He leads camel rides to the dunes, half an hour away – you can tr y to climb them to watch the sun­set. Camels are pretty much the only way to get around this area – they’re ca­pa­ble of walk­ing over the sof t ground of the marshes where ve­hi­cles would get stuck. I had only ever been on one­humped dromedar y camels be­fore and I found them to be su­per-un­com­for ta­ble, so I was hop­ing that two-humped Bac­trian camels would be eas­ier on the but­tocks. They were not.

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