Edernedalai - Bayanzag
( Hilversum, Netherlands)
Sunset in Gobi
Today the scenery was slightly less exciting. The scenery didn't change as much as it had done yesterday, and for most of the time it was desert steppe we saw. Desert steppe with lots of cattle: sheep, goats, camels, horses and the occasional cow or yak.
It was a long drive, but fortunately the roads were fairly smooth, so the ride was relatively comfortable. Uhm, wait... let me rephrase that. Mongolia doesn't have roads. What constitutes as 'roads' in this country, and especially in the Gobi region, are not much more than jeep tracks. Even though the official map of the country shows a through road for the entire route we'd traveled so far, not one of the tracks we traveled on even remotely resembled a road. There are no signs, no clear junctions, no markers, nothing. We stopped in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere for gas. We were surprised to even find a gas station out here, and watched amused how Nora had to honk his horn for a full minute before someone came out of a nearby ger to serve what might be his only customer for the day.
Because the roads had been so smooth we had made good progress and arrived at our destination at Bayanzag mid afternoon. Bayanzag is the site where the first dinosaur fossils in Mongolia had been found in the 1920s. The many, near-intact fossils of skeletons and eggs found at Bayanzag are world renowned, and can be seen in museums around the world, like New York and London.
Bayanzag is also known for its flaming red cliffs and large bushes of saxual shrub - a type of tree that grows so slow that it takes over a hundred years to grow 4 meters, and the wood is so dense it sinks in waters (and hardly burns, as we would later find out).
We climbed a set of cliffs and watched a great desert sunset. Sunset in Gobi Yet people like Nora can find their way easily, navigating using landmarks like mountains.