Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Beauty And The Bugs Of The Grasslands

After getting settled into our yurt, and ditching our backpacks, it was finally time to get away from civilization altogether and go for our first hike out into the grasslands.

As you can see from the picture of the terrain, the grasslands are truly breathtaking, especially with the contrast of the sky and clouds hovering, it seems, right over our heads out into infinity.

As you can see from the picture of Desi, Desi (and the rest of us!) were really, really excited to venture out into the pristine surroundings of Hulunbeier.

As you might infer from the picture of Z and Julie (blow it up for a closer look), there is one hitch in this part of the world...the mosquitoes! Yes, we quickly found out that we were, sad to say, underdressed for this extended encounter with raw nature. As the locals are fond of saying...Wenzi tai duo le! (Essentially, "Man, there are a lot of mosquitoes around here!")

The solution, we decided in a hurry, was not to walk straight through the grass itself, but to stick to the dirt roads that cut through these remote parts. The mosquito quotient, our arms and legs can tell you, is significantly lower out there on the rocks and packed earth.

So...What are the lessons we learned for you out there in the Hulunbeier?

Lesson #1: Trust us, you need to go to the grasslands!

Lesson #2: Wear long pants!



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