Sleeping out in the Desert: Too Hot to Sleep at Night, and Have to Cover the Quilt in the Early Cool Morning | CBCGDF’s 3rd Scientific Expedition to Lop Nur
2022/8/17 17:53:00 本站

The so-called small town is actually a small section of places with permanent residents consisting of several restaurants, hotels and gas stations built along the road. There are only a few hotels and inns in town, and because we arrived too late, all the rooms were booked. There is no choice but to fill everyone's stomach first.


We found a restaurant, ordered food, and summed up where to stay for the night. Some of the team members searched online and made phone calls hoping to find unreserved rooms, while others directly asked the hotel owner to help them find them. The two drivers also took action and contacted friends who were familiar with the surrounding area. In the end, there were no rooms available for reservation.


We have only two options: one is to drive more than 240 kilometers after dinner to live in Minfeng County, the destination; the other is to sleep on the sand dunes by the road near the town. Because the accommodation has not been resolved, everyone is basically discussing this matter when they eat. Finally, considering that there were still 7 well samples to be taken along the road the next day, and that the driver who had driven the car for more than 10 hours was unsafe to drive at night again, everyone agreed to stay in the wild at night.


After a day of running in the wild, there is no network signal in most places, so many team members have accumulated a lot of work that needs to be dealt with urgently. Around 12:00 in the evening, while the team members were taking a nap after dinner, the plant team leader and I took out our laptops. We needed to finish our work and leave before the restaurant closed (13:00).


As soon as we left the restaurant, the boss came to close. The two cars drove back on the desert road. The colleagues of the underground water environment team did not give up and wanted to find the No. 50 water station and stay nearby, so that they could start work directly the next day. As a result, we went back and forth two more times, but still could not find the exact location. In desperation, everyone made a compromise and planned to return to the No. 49 water station and spend the night there.

In the silent desert, the roar of vehicles was particularly clear. As soon as we arrived, the water station nurses who had already slept were woken up. When they knew we wanted to sleep here, they started to help. He dragged two pieces of plywood from the warehouse and put them next to the two cars as makeshift beds.

Soon, the surroundings became quiet again, and the snoring gradually started. Although I was exhausted, I couldn't sleep peacefully. After tossing and turning for countless times, I fell asleep and woke up many times in a daze...

When I woke up again, the inside of the car was no longer stuffy, and it was even a little cooler outside. Worrying about mosquito bites at night, I haven't dared to open the windows all the time. At this time, I put down the windows of the car, it was very cool, and I really felt the huge temperature difference between day and night in the desert.

There were two figures moving on the dunes in the distance. When I got closer, I saw that it was the team leaders of the underground hydrological environment group and the plant group. They couldn't sleep either. They got up early and started to work after the sun came out.


(The team members are sleeping in the wild desert.)


(Standing on the sand dunes and looking back at the water station where we slept last night.)


Original Chinese Article:

Translator: Daisy

Editor: Samantha

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