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By: John Hare
237 pages, Col photos
John Hare is a star author and one of the most well-known explorers of his generation. The Gobi is a perennially fascinating part of the world - a desert that people love to read about. China, the environment/natural world, exploration and discovery: broad and topical appeal.
The Gobi is the largest, coldest and driest desert in Asia. Its shifting sands conceal ancient cities, 3,000-year-old mummies, dinosaur bones and areas where no man has set foot. It is also the last place on earth where the wild Bactrian camel clings to survival, its fragile habitat threatened by poachers and development. With the conservation of this elusive creature in mind, John Hare was inspired to venture into the wildest parts of the Chinese Gobi on an expedition during which they crossed a hundred miles of sand dunes, unexplored in recorded history. Several weeks into the journey, Hare and the team discovered, in two unmapped valleys, a population of wildlife with no experience of man.
Interwoven with the account of his remarkable journey, Hare tells, for the first time, the story of an epic migration made by Kazakh nomads in flight from Chinese communists and describes the historic and current tensions between the Chinese and the indigenous Uighur population of Xinjiang. A blend of history and high adventure, discovery and conservation, "Mysteries of the Gobi" is a unique and compelling account of modern-day exploration.
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John Hare is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club of America. As well as living and working in Africa for many years, he has made several expeditions to the Mongolian Gobi and China's remote Xinjiang Province. He was the first foreigner to be invited to visit Lop Nur for over 45 years and the first foreigner in recorded history to cross the Gashun Gobi from north to south. In 1997 he founded the Wild Camel Protection Foundation and, with Chinese colleagues, established a 175,000 square kilometre Nature Reserve in Mongolia for the wild Bactrian camel. He is the author of 'The Lost Camels of Tartary' and 'Shadows across the Sahara'.
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