Trip to the Gobi Desert – Part Three – Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes and a local Nadaam Festival

Well, waking up near the sand dunes was pretty special.  Stefan and Sebastien like to do a workout every day, and I thought it would be a great idea to join them.  I had already done a couple of workouts with them, but the one by the sand dunes on this particular morning – wow, what a backdrop.   We ran there and back which was 3km without the workout on top! That and the morning sun coming up, I must have sweated half a stone off! (If only it was that easy!

Nice face Stefan!

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Our first adventure of the morning was to go on a camel ride by the dunes.  My camel seemed to be a little agitated from the start, and after walking a little way it kept sitting down, no warning.  This is scarier than it sounds!  After a few times doing this I got off and didn’t want to get back on, I didnt want to force a camel to do something it obviously didnt want to do, and it was pretty scary having it keep dropping to the floor! The guide actually swapped my camel over, which turned out to be much more willing, and after this had an enjoyable ride to the dunes. These were amazing, ever changing with the wind, it is a 70km long strip of sand dunes that sit before the mountains. It was like walking on a fresh moon scape. The contrast of the pale sand dunes against the bright blue sky was stunning.

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During our long drive of 150km after the sand dunes, we stumbled across a local Nadaam festival where some wrestling was taking place:

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An area called the Flaming Cliffs

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Fooling around

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The last adventure of the day is something we had all been looking forward to. It was a hike through an ice gorge, where there would still be ice despite the 30° degree heat we had been experiencing during the day. We had even chatted to an Israeli guy the day before who had just been there and said it had been the best part of his trip, and was amazing. The hike through the mountains was beautiful, and there were literally hundreds of these cute little ground squirrels darting in and out of their little cubby holes:

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After the 2km we reached the much anticipated ice valley……
Underwhelmed is the only word I can use to describe our findings!

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The drunken locals were rather entertaining though, love the way they were cavorting around on the ice in their slip on loafers and trainers, while we precariously trod in our vibram soled shoes!

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Yes there was still ice in a valley where you really wouldn’t expect it, but it was just filthy muddy ice where hoards of people had obviously walked on it, and it was highly unimpressive, also pretty slippery, and a broken ankle was not on my wish list! So we walked the way back which was enjoyable itself, but not quite sure how this was deemed to be amazing, I had definitely seen better on this trip.

4 thoughts on “Trip to the Gobi Desert – Part Three – Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes and a local Nadaam Festival”

  1. WOW!!!! WOW!!!!WOW!!!! So amazing sis! And that’s just you working out!!! Lol! Trust you to get the agitated camel! Bit like me with a donkey remember!?!??

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