Tuesday, October 28, 2003

See more photos and information about Amarbuyant Khiid

Shar Khuls Oasis: The 13th Dalai Lama camped here in 1904.

It was a long, slow slog 104 miles south from Amarbuyant to Shar Khuls Oasis.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Speaking of luscious cheesecake, here's Zolzaya, translator on the Gobi trip, in one of her few unveiled moments - she was determined to protect her "sweet cream" complexion from the ravages of the Gobi air.

New Fronts in the War on Terror: To digress from the Gobi for a moment, here is the newly selected Miss Afghanistan. For details see Afghan Beauty Queen Makes History.

Quick, all you linguists out there: how do you say "luscious cheesecake" in Pashtu?

Friday, October 24, 2003

The old caravan route to China and Tibet. This is the way the 13th Dalai Lama came to Mongolia in 1904.

Our little caravan sets out from Amarbuyant Monastery for Shar Khuls Oasis, 104 miles to the south.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Tumen-Olzii, cook and disiplinarian on the Gobi trip. Mother of eight children, she knows a thing or two about cooking (and discipline).

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The debonair Davakhoo, one of the camel-handlers on the trip.

Eighty-three year-old Gonchigjav (left), currently the oldest monk at Amarbuyant, with his son-in-law and grandson.

Another view of Amarbuyant Monastery. In 1904 when the 13th Dalai Lama visited here there were about 1000 monks in residence. In 1937 the monastery was largely destroyed by the communists. The older monks were shot and the younger ones drafted into the army and sent to fight against the Germans.

Amarbuyant Monastery in Bayankhongor Province, on the edge of the Gobi Desert. From here we traveled by camel 172 miles to Ekhin Gol Oasis, near the Chinese border. There were only two wells on the way, one 51 miles south of Amarbuyant, and the other 104 miles south of Amarbuyant, at Shar Khuls Oasis, so we had to take along 60 gallons of water. We bought two sheep in Amarbuyant, which provided the food for the six of us - three camel handlers, one cook (wife of one of the camel handlers), translator, and myself. We followed the route used by the 13th Dalai Lama when he fled from Tibet to Mongolia following the British invasion of Tibet in 1904. The 13th Dalai Lama stayed at Amarbuyant Monastery for ten days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Just returned from a grueling camel trip in the Gobi Desert. Details to follow . . .

The Mummy Returns . . . Oh my God No! Run for your life!