The silent nights of the Gobi

There are 3 things that have made an impression on me during my nights in the desert. One of them was the freezing cold.

Once you step foot in the Gobi desert your senses intensify and you may experience a few strange feelings.

First you notice the emptiness, the nothingness around you. The absence of trees. The absence of most of the vegetation for that matter. Then, you notice the absence of humans. The scarcity of any human settlements. You drive for an entire day before seeing a ger (yurt). And when you see one or two, there’s usually nothing else around. It’s not a village, it’s just one family. The next one is many miles away. It’s really hard to grasp, if you’re coming from cities of millions.

You also feel amazingly free when you look around and you see the line of the horizon in all directions. It’s a bit of a trap, of course. It’s an unforgiving environment if you’re not well prepared and if orientation isn’t your thing.

But when the night comes, the most amazing thing of all is the silence. The complete silence. No city sounds, no country-side sounds. No crickets, no nothing.  Just a huge sky full of stars and silence. And the moon that lights up the entire plain and you can almost make out the line of mountains in the distance.

An eerie light and silence. And emptiness. Loneliness and ultimate freedom at the same time. And the sound of your own heartbeats, the sound of your soul questioning the universe above.