survival-journal-gobi-desert by keralaguest


									Survival Journal
Personal Recount Text
Day 1 – June 5

Unbelievable! Absolutely unbelievable! I am writing these words            Recount
with trembling hands after a long and adventurous day. I still cannot      Beginning
believe that I have survived the events of this past day.
                                                                           When: today,
                                                                           starting at 5:00
The day started very early at 5:00 a.m. A group of 5 of us boarded a
small plane in Beijing, the capital city of China. We were heading         Where: Beijing to
towards Ulan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia in order to do a tour     Ulan Bator / Gobi
of the plains and hills of Mongolia. Little did we know that we would      Desert, near
never make it!
                                                                           Who: a group of
About 90 minutes after take-off, our pilot noticed that one of the         5 people,
engines on the plane had failed. Our plane started to lose altitude very   including me
quickly and, before any of us had time to prepare, we crashed in the
                                                                           What: a 5-day
middle of the Gobi Desert, about 140 kilometres northwest of a small
Chinese town called Jining. Thankfully, no one had injuries worse
than a few bumps and bruises. In the crash, the plane’s radio and GPS      Why: to survive
were completely destroyed. We were on our own and we quickly
realized that the only way out of the desert was by hiking about 5 days
to Jining. If we stayed at the plane, we would have no chance of           Geo Theme –
surviving.                                                                 Place /
Luckily for us, the plane was carrying a number of items that we were      in the Gobi
                                                                           Desert; 140 km
going to use on our tour of Mongolia. As a group, we talked about
                                                                           northwest of
everything we knew about the Gobi Desert in order to decide which          Jining, China
items would be absolutely necessary for our survival in this part of the
world. Since we would be hiking for so many days, we narrowed              Geo Theme –
down our list to 10 essential survival items. Then, we put on our          Movement:
hiking boots and our thick socks and started our long and difficult trek   hiking
towards Jining. We considered travelling by mountain bike, but the
ground is far too rough. There were also some skis and snowshoes on        Geo Theme –
the plane, but we left them. The desert is covered with rocks, so skis     Interaction:
                                                                           items – hiking
and snowshoes would be useless. Hiking out is really the only way.         boots (1), thick
                                                                           socks (2)
We have been walking for about 6 hours and have just stopped to
prepare some food and to make camp for the night. I am completely
exhausted. We will see what tomorrow brings.
Day 2 – June 6
                                                                            Geo Theme –
This morning when we woke up, we were surprised by how cold it              Region /
was. The temperature dropped to about 4ºC overnight. What a                 Environment:
difference to yesterday afternoon, when we were sweating as we hiked        temperature
in temperatures of about 30ºC. I was really glad that we decided to
bring the tent and the sleeping bags from the plane. We would have          Geo Theme –
frozen overnight!                                                           Interaction:
                                                                            items – tent (3),
We had a quick and simple breakfast before starting our hike today.         sleeping bags (4)
We knew that we were not going to find many streams or rivers in the
desert, so we decided to bring plenty of bottled water from the plane.      Geo Theme –
We also brought canned food along with us; we can just open the cans        Interaction:
                                                                            items – bottled
(with the hunting knife) and eat the food immediately.                      water (5),
                                                                            canned food (6),
Although the hike was very long today, it was not terribly difficult.       hunting knife (7)
The landscape is actually pretty boring. The land here is very flat and
hard. It is not hilly and the desert does not have any sand dunes, so we    Geo Theme –
were able to cover a good number of kilometres.                             Region /
Thankfully, we have a map and a compass to help us to stay on track. I landforms – flat,
                                                                       rocky, few
know that we would get totally lost without the compass because the    streams or rivers
landscape all looks exactly the same – rocks, rocks, and more rocks.
The compass has helped us as we continue heading southeast towards     Geo Theme –
Jining.                                                                Interaction:
                                                                            items – map (8),
We hiked for about 7 hours today, and again I am exhausted. After I         compass (9)
finish my meal of canned food, I will crawl into my sleeping bag and
fall asleep.
Day 3 – June 7                                                              Events in
Well, we have crossed the half-way point to Jining. I think that we are     order
going to make it!

Among the rocks of this part of the desert, the vegetation is very          Geo Theme –
limited. In places, we saw some patches of grass and a few small            Region /
shrubs called “saxaul”, but not much more grows in this part of the         vegetation –
desert. The saxaul shrub is a very useful plant because its bark actually   grass, saxaul
holds water. If we run out of bottled water in the next few days, we        shrubs
can rely on this plant.

Today, we saw a few animals that live in the Gobi Desert. Although
we know that there are some bears and wolves that live in some parts
of the desert, we have not seen any. The animals that we saw are
completely harmless, so we were never worried about our safety. We          Geo Theme –
saw a couple of large animals that eat the grass and the shrubs             Region /
including some wild camels and wild horses called “takhi”. We also          Environment:
noticed some smaller animals too, including a number of small lizards       animals – bears,
                                                                            wolves, camels,
and some very tiny mice called “jerboa”. The jerboa mice come out           horses, lizards,
mostly at night.                                                            mice

I will write again tomorrow, but I can barely keep my eyes open now.
We will hope for good trekking weather again tomorrow.                      Recount

Day 4 – June 8                                                              Events in
What a day! The weather changed very quickly and very dramatically
this afternoon and made for a miserable few hours. The Gobi Desert
has very, very little precipitation, and it usually happens in the winter   Geo Theme –
anyway. So, we have not needed to worry about rain for the past few         Region /
days. Today, however, we learned that the weather in the Gobi Desert        Environment:
can go from one extreme to another almost instantly. At about 2:00          climate,
this afternoon, we were baking in temperatures in the low 30ºC.             temperature –
                                                                            heat, wind,
Suddenly, a strong wind began to blow, picking up dust and small            sudden changes
pebbles and driving them across the flat, rocky landscape. Our faces        in weather
were stinging from the blowing dirt and we had to find shelter from the
powerful wind behind a large rock. Then, to make matters worse, the         Geo Theme –
temperature quickly dropped about 15 or 20ºC and we were left               Region /
shivering in our sweaty clothes. Luckily, the wind stopped after about      Environment:
an hour, so we could leave our shelter and continue our hike towards        landforms – flat,
Jining.                                                                     rocky

                                                                            Geo Theme –
This evening, to try to warm up, we collected some dried grasses and        Region /
cut some branches from shrubs using the hunting knife in order to           Environment:
make a fire. Thankfully, we brought the matches along with us from          vegetation –
the plane. The fire also served to keep wild animals away, because one      grass, shrubs
member of our group thinks that he may have seen the tracks of Gobi
wolves in the area where we were hiking.                                    Geo Theme –
                                                                            Region /
Our supply of bottled water is getting lower, but I think that we will      Environment:
have enough to last for at least another day. If all goes well, we should   animals – wolves
arrive in Jining at some point tomorrow. Right now, I need to sleep!
                                                                            Geo Theme –
                                                                            items – hunting
                                                                            knife (7),
                                                                            matches (10),
                                                                            bottled water (5)
Day 5 – June 9

At last we made it! We arrived in Jining this evening at about 5:30
p.m. after hiking for 7 hours today. Along the way, we noticed that the    Geo Theme –
vegetation had changed a little: there were definitely more grass,         Region /
shrubs, and small trees as we got closer to Jining. I suppose that         Environment:
                                                                           vegetation –
villages, towns, and cities are developed in places where there is         grass, shrubs,
enough water. That explains why there were more plants growing.            trees

We found the main highway leading into the town and waved down a
passing truck, which stopped to give us a ride. We made our way to         Verbs in the past
the local police station and told our story. From there, we were taken     tense
to the hospital where the doctors checked our physical condition.
Incredibly, we were all in very good shape, aside from our general
feeling of exhaustion.

Although my feet are blistered, my muscles are aching, and my back is      Recount
stiff and sore from sleeping on the cold rocky ground for the past four    End
nights, I have to admit that I have learned a lot about the climate,
landforms, animals, and vegetation of this amazing place called the
Gobi Desert. I was also surprised to see how we, as humans, can adapt
to and survive in almost any environment if we make the right

The Gobi Desert, like all regions, is an extremely important part of our   Final thought
home planet. I would definitely love to come back to the Gobi Desert
to explore more of this region. Although, next time, I think that I will
do it without getting into an airplane crash!

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