Gobi Day 3
Am currently writing this blog via candle light in a Ger in the middle of the Gobi, but more on that later.
So how did our day start? We all met for breakfast and then brought all of our stuff to the lobby at 9 AM. Loaded our stuff in the two Land Cruisers and off we went. Of course, we first went to a local supermarket for Andy and Kevin to load up on their junk food and beverages. Andy and Kevin told me that I have not been drinking enough water and it shows. They gave me two large pills of electrolyte to help me get some of my energy back and told me to start drinking lots of water. There was a coffee shop next door and Kip and myself went in to buy cappuccino take out. Would you believe they only had one take out container. Imagine running a business like this in New York. It was then onto the road.
We started driving on a very smooth paved road and I was so thankful. My back hurts from the bumping and going up and down on the off road. Zaya told me that this road will eventually being finished and end at the Chinese border. There were beautiful snow capped mountains as we passed herds of sheep and horses.
We finally made a right and started our long journey through the Gobi to our Ger Camp. The start of the journey was flat terrain. Suddenly the Land Cruiser that Andy, Kevin and Kip was in stopped and the driver got out. We also stopped. The driver bent down at the back of the Land Cruiser and both drivers started to talk. There was a pipe or piece of the suspension loose and they needed to fix it. You could not call Triple A here. Our driver went to the back, took out some luggage and opened up a large drawer that was filled with tools and all sorts of screws, nuts and bolts. It seemed like he had Home Depot there. After lots of talking in Mongolian and spending time under the vehicle, the job was fixed and on we went. Suddenly we saw camels. Camels are great subjects to shoot. They are not afraid and I believe like people and are very inquisitive. Of course, we all stopped and the clicking went on. My right hand is suffering from carpel tunnel and the volume of photos I have taken as forced me to wear a brace that I brought with me. I was sitting in the front seat as we drove on and could not stop taking pictures. We stopped a few more times for more camels and beautiful landscapes. On our last stop, Kevin said that we are on the verge of starting to see the sand dunes. The Gobi sand dunes are so picturesque. Couple that with a background of snow capped mountains and the sight was truly awe inspiring. The mountains just received snow and the contrast between the snow and sand dunes could not be described. I kept on thinking how many people have seen this setting and landscape and have had the opportunity to take pictures of it. Andy told me that we are the first photo workshop or small group to go to the Gobi. There have been professional photographers before, but no photo travel company offers a trip to the Gobi yet. We finally arrived at our Ger Camp. We are the only ones here and will probably be here for two nights.. We were first served lunch. Lunch was Mongolian dumplings with Gobi beef. The taste could not be described. The Ger tents do not have electricity and candles will be set up inside. It was now time to unpack for five minutes and go to a camel herders home.
The camel herders home was about 2 to 3 miles from our Ger Camp and they also lived in Ger tents and had a herd of camels. The husband and wife dressed up in traditional Mongolian clothing and one of our drivers did likewise. The wife has a great face to photograph. We will be going back there tomorrow morning to photograph her. Her face tells a story and way of life. They took five camels and we met them at some large sand dunes. The sand dunes can only be described as sand dunes that you would see in a movie where the movie was filmed in the Sahara. Waving and large sand dunes. I could not believe my eyes. I had never seen sand dunes like this and to see them in the Gobi was special. The camels and locals finally arrived and Andy and Kevin set them up for a photo shoot. Andy and Kevin told them what they wanted them to do, through Zaya, and we took various shots of them leading, walking, galloping and posing up and down the sand dunes. A photo shoot is hard work for the photographer and I was amazed by how Andy and Kevin were telling them what to do and when to do it as the sun set behind us.
When it was almost dark, we packed up and headed back to the Ger Camp for dinner. The Ger Camp had a generator running only in the dining area so we were able to do our downloads and recharge our batteries. Dinner was of course Gobi beef. I asked Kevin where they get their beef from and how hard it must be for them to bring it out here. He said all the food is obtained on the Gobi.
We are meeting sat 6 AM for coffee and then its off to shoot the sunrise.
I am loosing track of days and dates. It seems I have been away for a long time. My journey started on September 26 but it seems longer.