Mongolia – Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)

The Gobi Desert really is the middle of nowhere.DSC00382

Flaming red emptiness. It could nearly be the surface of Mars.DSC00376
Except for the camels.

Frame 2
After another long slog, we reached our local ger family who lived here in the hot, dusty nothingness.

Back on the road again!

Back on the road again!

Frame 1

They followed their herd of camels like true nomads. Mongolia is the last place in the world to find twin-humped camels in the wild.

Bactrian Camels: twin humped camels

Bactrian Camels: twin humped camels

"Hey, have you guys seen my leg?"

“Hey, have you guys seen my leg?”

After a quick tasty lunch of camel meat rice pudding, washed down with a mug of frosty hormog (warm fermented camel milk), we set off again to Bayanzag.



Commonly known as the ‘Flaming Cliffs’, the name was penned by the famous American adventurer and palaeontologist, Roy Chapman Andrews.  Best known for his explorations of the Gobi Desert in the 1920s, he was always kitted out with his felt hat, khakis and a gun by his side. In fact, Andrews is reputedly the inspiration for Indiana Jones!



Here, he discovered the first dinosaur eggs, jaws and skull fossils in Central Asia. Now Bayanzag is world renowned for the quality and number of dinosaur fossils found here, and the ones still waiting to be uncovered beneath the red sands.

...also known as the Flaming Cliffs

…also known as the Flaming Cliffs

Standing on the edge, overlooking the sheer desert emptiness was just awesome!Frame 5

We couldn’t help but find the next insane photo opportunity!Frame 4DSC00468

Our guide, Tulga, showed us to a spot where one of his previous tourists had found what appeared to be dinosaur bones in the sand. We then scoured the cliffs in search of our own. It wasn’t long before we spotted something peculiar. After some careful brushing and hand digging, we seemed to have stumbled upon a dinosaur fossil of our own!

Discovery credit goes to Andrew & Lakshi Starks!

Discovery credit goes to Andrew & Lakshi Starks!

In our opinions, it resembled a pelvic bone or perhaps the crown of a triceratops-like dinosaur. (We would later see a complete fossil of a Protoceratops in the Central Mongolian Museum of Dinsoaurs in Ulaanbaatar, who’s head crown had an uncanny resemblance to our find. What do you think?)Frame 6

And then to top it all off, we were treated to a perfect sunset that gives the Flaming Cliffs its name.DSC00505DSC00512DSC00526

Visited 12th August 2014.


About starksepicadventure

We are Andrew and Lakshi Starks, young married couple from Melbourne, Australia. We are travelling around the world on our Starks Epic Adventure!
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