Friday, August 19, 2011

A Mysterious Desert: The Gobi

Maybe the most intriguing of the world's great desert is the Gobi.  In the heart of Asia--it's been the setting for great adventures, strange oases, nomads and dromedary camels.  Climate ranges from searing heat to arctic cold.  From a collection on Central Asia books, Gobi Desert books are a niche within a niche.  I still hope to travel the Gobi one day but for now, will travel it in these books. 

1.   Gobi: Tracking the Desert, John Man (1997).  Following the fall of the Soviet Union, Mann explores the Gobi, its boundaries, oases, its nomads and retraces the tracks of some earlier explorers.   Color and black and white pictures.  Bought new. 

2.  Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions, Charles Gallenkamp, Charles Gallenkamp (2001).   In the 1920's, Roy Chapman staged an audacious series of expeditions into the Gobi using automobiles and camel caravans.  Chapman discovered dinosaur eggs, dinosaur fossils and flaming red cliffs.   His exploits lead him to be a considered inspiration for character Indian Jones.  Plenty of of historical photos.  Bought new. 

3.  The Gobi Desert, Mildred Cable with Francesca French (1944).  Cable was one of a group of intrepid English women who explored unknown corners of the world.  She and two companions traveled the remnants of old trade routes visiting the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas and other lost sacred sites.  Travels well documented with black and white photos.   Bought used, can't remember where.  

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