Day 132 - Yolyn Am to north of Mandal Ovoo Sum - Fri 5 Jul
Wind picked up through night, woke to sunrise on
my face through camper mesh window. Off into dust to Dalanzadbad for water and
fuel, on way to Ongi monastery, flaming cliffs and Arvaykheer. Saw goats thrown
over bike saddles - tonight's dinner we suspect. Horses at well, herd of goats being corralled.
Reached town, looking
for water ourselves - Guy gone to water station where women waiting outside with containers,
Miles to shop with water cubes outside - success good cold water (underground
reticulation?) and only cost 5000TG to fill up, including old water bottles.
Had to try three supermarkets before finding enough fruit and veg (green apples
delicious!) Sent emails re storage compound for trucks in Ulaanbaatar, tickets
for Nadaam Opening Ceremony, logistics for daughter Jenni’s wedding etc.
Departed north, light rain, smell of wet dust through vehicle. Lunch on small
rise, more remote terrain very few vehicles. Large camel herds lying close
together in dry wadis. Plenty of warrens under bushes but too hot for little
animals. Eagle swooped down to land on rock outcrop looking out over plains
with other birds.
Travelled along base of low mountain range until gap opened
up to get through. Desolate spot, sand blows up side of mountains so almost
look like dunes. Impressive rock formations, dark ridge up through sandstone
coloured hills. Through Bayan Khoshuu Bag, and then Khanyn Khets, interesting
minerals, mine nearby. Very bad corrugations. Suspension seats in Fuso are
excellent, but tracks so bad have bruises on elbows from being thrown from side
to side! Stopped at water-less oasis with five striking Siberian Elms for arvo tea
and to stretch legs. Unbearably hot outside in the blustery wind, nasty side of
the Gobi summer. How lucky we have been to date with clear skies, warm days and
Past shallow series of puddles which could have made interesting
campsite watching animals come down to drink, but no shade at all and still
painfully hot outside. On through gibber country, came over low rise in tufted
mound country to see lovely long oval of green grass supporting several herds
and town of the Mandal Ovoo Sum on other side. No ice creams in town, waved to
kids running alongside trucks and left heading north again - into vast totally
flat plains unbroken as far as eye can see.
Finally decided to call it quits at
6.00pm, found a depression out of wind, but on gibber ground. Fortunately have
stew left over from last night which only has to be reheated. We’ll have to
make our own shade, but at 38 degrees it’s definitely time for a coldie. Sorted
some photos of Ozzie for the EarthCruiser magazine competition. Golden sunset
over golden desert. Fortunately temperature dropped 10 degrees in an hour as