This is Day 5 our Seven Day Roadtrip into the Gobi Desert.  We woke up again at 6:00 for the sunrise. We were immediately hit by the cold heavy winds.  When we got outside we could see hundreds of goats and sheep outside our door that were not there when we went to sleep the prior evening.  We quickly realized that the clouds were covering the sunrise and we couldn’t last very long in the frigid conditions so climbed back into our thick sleeping bags.

Jesse and Quan performing the morning stretch routine, with Jesse on Quan’s back

When we set off later in the day we had a long but fast, bumpy drive to lunch in a small town where we found a market with small seltzers!  In case you are new to our blog, we love sparkling water and get excited every time we find it in remote locations. Oh What A Day! We bought all the seltzers they had, all 5 of them!

On our way to our hike we stopped at our ger which was great, the ger had a fireplace that burned goat dung and the beds were fairly soft.  We then headed to the Yol Valley which is named after the bird that flies above the valley that have a huge wing span.  This valley is also home to the elusive snow leopards, but we did not spot one, we did spot a few wild horses and a Nomad on a horse looking for an elusive cigarette.  

Clip above is a Nomad looking for a cigarette and pic below is Quan in the Yol Valley

The Yol Valley was formed 19 million years ago when an earthquake broke the mountains apart.  The hike is 2500 meters above sea level but a very moderate hike 3 miles/5 KM out and back along a stream surrounded by beautiful Rocky cliffs, through a slot canyon to a small waterfall.  It was a different world from endless Steppes of the Gobi desert we had seen the past few days.

The girls jumping for joy in the Yol Valley

The boys jumping for joy in the Yol Valley

Jesse and Quan looking out towards the slot canyon in the Yol Valley

When we got back to the ger we were told that another group had 7 people and needed to be in our Ger which was bigger.  We moved to a smaller ger with beds that were rock hard.  But in Mongolia we learn you just have to go with the flow.

We hung around, drank some beers and chatted through the evening before going to sleep.

The whole crew in the Yol Valley


Day 6: L Mountain Petroglyphs