Twenty one thousand kilometres overland in a Land Rover from Australia to Switzerland. Five months camping...from a womans perspective.
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Russian documents….Mongolian Dust is an unique travel adventure of a 21,000 kilometre journey, across eleven countries. With just a box of cooking utensils, a couple of sleeping bags and their Land Rover, Rensina and her partner set off driving from Korea to Switzerland.
Over the next five months they slept in 117 camp spots through Siberia, Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan, sailed across the Black Sea into Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Germany and Austria to their final destination in Switzerland.
The story has been written from a woman’s perspective. From the scorching heat of the Gobi Desert to the freezing nights in the Russian forests, Rensina describes her experiences on this physically enduring expedition. The book encompasses my personal journey in untamed territory.
Now travelling on towards the sand dunes on a track, which would have to be one of the worst yet. Every twenty metres or so, there is a rough dry watercourse to cross. For hours we go from first to second gear then back to first and so on. It’s very rocky and is extremely, painfully…. slow! Ten to twenty kilometres per hour, for the entire day. By mid afternoon we are rewarded by our first glimpse of the dunes on our left and oh, they look so spectacular from here. The first ones look like gigantic, creamy croissants piled next to each other. The sun touches them, creating a glossy, peachy, honeyed glow. Contrasting dark, stony mountains stand behind, towering over the dunes.
Our search for water is so far, unsuccessful. Nothing but dry wells all day. In the distance we see a small lake. I’m already thinking…..swimming, washing…whoohoo!
Veering off the track, we drive closer to the dunes, till we are parallel, to get a better look. The hot afternoon sun reflects on them now, turning them into giant golden, pearly, lightly baked meringue peaks. Behind them, the mountains loom even larger than before, like giant dark sentinels. What a magnificent sight! On our right, there are also large extensive mountain ranges. Many of the watercourses run down from them, all the way to the dunes.
Before we arrive at the lake, we get to another little wooden shed. It may be a water well. Still hopeful of fresh, clean water, we find that it’s also dry and long ago abandoned.
Walking on the edge of the lake, is like dragging your feet through thick melted chocolate. It’s very, very sticky. A thousand animal prints are stamped into the oozy quagmire of mud and the water is dark brown. No swimming today! Two hairy camel legs lay in the sand complete with hooves. Cut off at the knees. Allen throws a large rock into the middle of the lake. The splash comes up thick liquid chocolate, like the sludgy stuff that’s at the bottom of your cup when you finish your hot cocoa!