This is Day 4 our Seven Day Roadtrip into the Gobi Desert.  We woke up early again to see the sunrise and this time woke up Rinchen, Nidup, Ze & Elisa for it as well.  Failure once again as clouds were blocking the sunrise but luckily we didn’t experience this failure alone and took down 4 people with us.

We got in the car and drove for about 20 minutes to the public shower, our first shower in four days!!  It was magical as we all smelled like a combination of smoke, dirt, camel, and human BO.  We were elated to be clean again. The kids at the shower also enjoyed playing with us while we took turns in the shower:

We then headed towards the Khongor Sand Dunes, by far the largest sand dunes in the Gobi desert, they cover 350 square miles/900 Square KM and rise as high as 1000 feet/300 meters.  After arriving we rode for about an hour on camels to the dunes.  These camels are way more calm, way more comfortable and way funnier looking than the camels in the Sahara.  Sahara camels have longer legs and shorter jumps. Gobi camels have pierced noses and a typically a mowhawk. 

We arrived to the dunes about 5:20 and they were a challenge to climb.  We pushed and pushed and made it to the top of the initial hill just in time for sunset.

Jesse at the top of the initial sand dune climb

Ze had gone ahead and Jesse wanted to climb to the top of the biggest dune about 25 minutes away (with running).  He saw Ze coming back after a few minutes, Ze said “I don’t think I should climb I didn’t want to keep the girls waiting.”  Jesse said “Fuck that. We’re here and we can see the top we won’t be that long.”  It was a slight jog and a lot of pain but we made it.


Jess running ahead to climb the tallest sand dune

Quan and Elisa waiting to see Jesse and Ze reach the top of the tallest dune

In the distance is Jesse and Ze at the top of the tallest sand dune in Mongolia

Jesse celebrating being at the top of the Dune

Jesse and Ze sweaty but at the top of the tallest dune in Mongolia

On the way down as it was getting really dark Ze and Jesse ran straight down the dunes. As she saw them approach Quan had our driver Duvka blast Mongolia national song in the car. It was epic. 

When we got back after the 5 minute drive to the Ger it was extremely cold and windy.  We had our dinner and layered up with clothing.  As we were getting ready for bed in the Ger following 2 hours of chatting a dog came out from under one of the beds that smelled really bad.  He jumped on Quan’s and Jesse’s bed before we managed to kick him out. We learned the next morning that there’s a hole on the side of the ger and the dog could enter and exit freely without our knowledge. With about 5 layers of clothes in the middle of the Gobi we went to bed. Due to the strong wind outside, this was one of the coldest and hardest nights of the trip. 

We were so hungry after climbing the dunes, we fought over this piece of bread

 Day 5: Yol Valley