Here are some favorite photos from Jonna's time in Mongolia:
1) We stayed at a "Ger Camp" in the Gobi. These camps have a smattering of gers that sleep from 1-4 folks each and a lodge with bathrooms and dining area. This camp also had a volleyball court that encouraged group bonding. This was the inside of the ger where my roomie Loren and I stayed.
2) On a walk around the camp I almost stepped on this rabbit trying to be invisible.
Bunny playing dead.
He just wants to disappear.
See his nose moving.
3) The sky could never be overlooked in the Gobi.
See the widest sky
Change in a millisecond.
Light meter quandary.
4) Yoliinam (Vulture's mouth) valley. A lovely hike along a creek through wildflowers.
5) At the end of the valley, slippery ice ended our hike. I did not expect ice when visiting the Gobi Desert.
6) Near the ice pack a group of local men were carving spoons and small animal figures out of juniper wood. I bought one of the ground squirrels. It is always a pleasure to buy items from the craftsperson making them.
Carved juniper squirrel.
We want to name it Kenny.
Skilled hands by water.
7) Our first exposure to camels - little did we know how often we would see them all over the country. This one had an interesting lopsided position.
8) The norm in Asia - family travel on one motorcycle. There were very few motorcycles in UB but they were a common mode of transport all over the countryside. Most were imported from China or Russia.
9) These ground squirrels were all over the land leading to the Yoliinam valley. At first they were mistaken for baby bunnies.
Here in the Gobi
Do baby bunnies exist?
Just as ground squirrels.
10) For the lifetime experience list - riding camels over sand dunes in the Gobi desert. Mongolian camels are large, have two humps and smell like one would imagine.
11) Again...the sky of the Gobi, spectacular and powerful.
Photos can't capture
Vast land and eternal sky
12) Our Mongolian guide, Namuun, taught us a traditional game that involves flicking the ankle bones of sheep or goats. Kind of like playing marbles with animal parts.
13) The Red Cliffs of the Gobi are where American Roy Champan Andrews found dinosaur bones in the 1920s. We did see some bones embedded in the soft red rock - who knows how old they were. This rock looked like a dinosaur egg.
14) Hearty tree in the red cliffs.
15) This is an "ovoo" or pile of offerings for local spirits. They were found at sacred sites and mountain passes and combine Shamanistic traditions with Buddhist beliefs.
What is the Gobi?
Land and sky reach forever.
Wind blowing blue scarves
16) At a sacred spring we shared the blessed water with a herd of goats.
17) Father and son wait for their herd of goats to hydrate.
Sheep go to heaven.
Father and son sit and wait.
Goats climb on the rocks.
18) The outside of my ger at the camp in the Gobi.
19) No...it's not Santa Fe but a ladder reaching to the top of our bathhouse at the Gobi ger camp.
20) There are few fences in Mongolia due to herding traditions but this line of rocks must delineate some kind of boundary.
21) Motorcycles are used for herding as much as horses.
22) Our extremely polite and attentive waitress served every meal at the Gobi ger camp. She was a delight. Meals were typically beef, pasta, bread, and cabbage with a cookie for dessert.
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