Today started out with the very obnoxious wakeup call at 6:30 in the morning and was followed by breakfast at the hotel buffet. After eating two fried dough sticks and noodles, a very healthy breakfast, we headed out on a bus for a two-hour ride to the desert. It was amazing to start in the heart of the crazy city, Hohhot, and venture out into the vast and mountains landscape that surrounds it. I fell asleep and was woken up to one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen. I got this overwhelming surreal and unbelieving feeling when I saw the open and beautiful desert.
Wide awake now, I was extremely excited to go out and explore. We took a lift that was very much like a ski lift, up to the top of a sand dune. On this ride I got Birdseye view of the many sand dunes, camels laying in the sun, and the modernized features such as ice- cream shops and zip- lines. I was not expecting there to be as many buildings and activities.
After getting off the lift we walked for a little until we came upon the camel rides. We had options for what we wanted to do to fulfill our two and a half hours. I quickly decided I wanted to ride a camel. It was one of the best decisions of my life. These animals were so big, strong and adorable. I created a special bond with my camel Pete. I miss Pete a lot right now. It felt very much like riding a horse, camels have similar shape except for the two humps. After saying a sad goodbye to my new friend Pete, Madison and I decided we wanted to climb up a sand dune. I noticed while climbing that when my bare feet hit the top sand, it was very hot but was quickly relieved when my foot sank into the cold sand underneath. It was an amazing feeling.
After reaching the top, Maddie and I decided to take some photos. Me, being a gymnast, did handstands, cartwheels and backflips. It’s so cool because now I can say that I’ve done a standing backflip in the Gobi Desert. After getting some amazing photo’s, we decided that the only other thing we could do is jump off some sand dunes. We would run and leap off the top and land about half way down getting sand everywhere. After two jumps, my hair and face were covered with sand, but it was definitely worth it. Sadly, we then had to leave that wonderful place. Of course, though, before leaving for lunch we had to stop for ice cream.
About an hour later, we had a very tasty lunch that included a lot of meat like pork, duck, and even lamb. After our bellies were full, we drove yet another hour and a half until we stopped for dinner. We had dinner at this very interesting place called Bamnudi. I, along with my friends, had no clue why we stopped here for dinner. There were animals there, including deer, ducks and two peacocks. This place just had a very unusual feeling to it. We had dinner, which included even more meat, and finally arrived back at the hotel.
As soon as we got back, everyone took a very needed shower to try to wash away all the sand. Today was one of my favorite days we have had here in China. I can now say I’ve done a backflip and rode a camel in the Gobi Desert. Two things I can now check off my bucket list!