Apologies for the wealth of spelling errors in the previous post but the internet is glacial in speed and there’s no way to see half of what I’m writing. Hope you got the jist of it.
It’s been an unbelievable week. I’ll start with Dun Huang. It’s a rather large oasis town in northern Gansu province (if you really care about the geography, for us it really meant that it was a pain the arse to get to) that we caught another sleeper train to. Instantly the clear blue skies, vast open desert and total lack of humidity made me pretty happy. More was to follow – that day we climbed a sand dune. Not any old sand dune mind but one that sits 1700 metres above sea level. Now admittedly it could just be a tiny bump of a dune sitting on a very high plateau, but it wasn’t. It was massive. We began with bare feet but soon the sand became too scalding. Unfortuneately we had only brought our flip-flops which don’t fare too well in the old ‘keeping burny burny sand off the feet’ category. Once at the top we quickly surveyed our surroundings, sang the theme from Lawrence of Arabia and then hurtled down the other side. It was a neccessary yet excilerating sprint – video to follow.
That night we hit the banging neon streets of hip Dun Huang. We were invited to join a table of local students. They drank us under the table. I didn’t think it was possible for chinese people to drink so much but with every gambei (chin your drink) I realised we were in considerable trouble. When we got back to our camp site, we had a fair task locating our cabin in the dark. I think I was lost for about an hour.
Dawn, hangovers present and correct, we got a bus to the nearby Mogoa caves – which were too expensive but an impressive collection of huge buddhist carvings and coves – then headed back to pick up our camels for a wee janut into the desert with our ever-singing guide, Mr Li. I named my camel Fergie because of his lovely lady humps. Spinks named his Fred because he thought it was funny and G gifted his Henry, as it was bald. As dusk loomed we traipsed through an old cemetery (freaky) before scaling some dunes and taking in the sunset. Fergie wouldn’t stop pissing though. At one point he stopped for a leak that lasted an incredible five minutes, I swear I saw his humps deflate a little. That night we slept on the sand under the stars (very romantic, bar Spinks’s T-Rex snoring) with a belly full of noodles Mr Li had cooked for us. All in all, an incredible day!