Resonant Gorge- Camels, Sand-boards, and ATVS on the Gobi Desert

The second day we headed to the Resonant Sand Gorge where entertainment of all kinds on the dunes of the Gobi desert awaited us.  The Gobi desert covers 500,000 square miles, twice the size of Texas, and is the largest desert region in Asia.  The Resonant Sand Gorge is at the edge of the desert—where the Hantai River (largely dried up) encounters the barrier dunes of the Gobi, rising over a hundred feet in the air.

In order to get over to the Dune from the staging area, we had to take a chair lift; we were slowly pulled toward the mountain of sand while people slid down the dune’s slopes on wooden “sand-boards.”  At the end of the lift, we were each given “sand socks” which were made up thick cloth and enveloped your entire foot and shin so sand would not get into your shoes and pants.  I, like many also put on a mask so not to get sand in my mouth and nose.  The sand was extremely fine and a strong breeze easily carried wisps of sand high into the air.

It was a huge playground—a entire sand theme park was built upon this enormous dune with hundreds of camels, dune buggies, ATVs, slides, and sand sculptures.  We all first went to the camels and went on an hour trek up and down the endless sea of sand dunes.  I was in a procession of half a dozen camels, all inter-linked with ropes from humps to nose, led by a guide on foot.  We trekked slowly through the sand and up over a ridge, revealing an exhibit of meticulously crafted sand sculptures some of which must have been 20 feet high.

After the camel expedition I took an ATV around a course with Lihau (a classmate from Hawaii).  We spent hours playing in the sand and I also sand boarded down (everyone sat on them like a toboggan) the front face of a dune.  We also browsed a nearby market set up beside the dunes which boasted any and everything from small sculptures to old rusty swords.  We were there for most of the day and stayed in a nearby hotel for the night.

Lihau and me ATV-ing

Dune Slope where people sand-board

Resonant Gorge Encampment

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