Ethan and the Smiling Camel

By Ethan

This is my trip to Dunhuang. We went there during Qing Ming, Tomb Sweeping, the holiday.

Day One – Lanzhou


On that zipline, you got hooked up to a line and because I was so light, I got weights put onto my strap (harness). Some other people who were older than me and a little bit heavier got parachutes put onto theirs to slow them down because they didn’t want them to crash. My dad had to hold onto a rope and get reeled in because he started going backwards on the zipline over the river!

Day Two – Dunhuang
On the first day in Dunhuang, we went to Crescent Moon Dunes. Crescent Moon Dunes are dunes that are taller than a lot of mountain ranges. The dunes are in the Gobi desert in Western China in Gansu province.

We actually tried to fly our kites in a sandstorm. The sandstorm was very, very, very, very, very windy. My string actually broke. My dad ran over to get the kite.

Lots of sand was blowing up in my eyes when I was climbing the dune.

Day Three – Jiayuguan
We drover to Jiayuguan on the Silk Road, the place where in the old days merchants would take their goods and bring them to the next towns. The Silk Road went from ancient Rome in the old days, to Xi’an in that time sometimes the capital of China. Jiayuguan is a fortress that was built in between two mountains to block the barbarians – aka some Mongolians – from getting into China. And there’s the beginning of the Great Wall there.

Day 4 – Camel Trek

We went over to the camels in their old kind of run-down stalls and I saw them eating. I walked over to one and pet it and it let me. THen it looked at me. I was afraid it was going to spit at me, but it didn’t. Then we got on the camels.

Our guide took us out into the desert. The camels were very comfy and very fun, but a little swaying at times. Sometimes they would go down a steep hill and sway a little too much so I would almost fall off. When we got to where we were going to camp in the desert, we got down and climbed a small dune.

Then we went back to the camp where our guide had started making a fire. Then me and Kenny climbed up a little bit of a taller dune and then we ran down. By that time it was getting a little bit dark. We put on some army coats and dug a little hole as a seat, which is a surprisingly good seat. We put on an army coat on top of it. Then we sat around the fire and our guide first made instant noodles as an appetizer. Then our guide, who was a very good cook, he made us chicken and then he made us lamb over the fire and boy was it good!

I also built a dune.

Next we set up our camp tents and we went to sleep. The next day we woke up and I made toast on the fire that our guide made and after we had breakfast, which was toast and jam, we climbed a dune that was pretty tall and very steep!

See us?

9 comments on “Ethan and the Smiling Camel

  1. aunt amy says:

    looks so awesome!


  2. Doris says:

    Dear Ethan and Kenny;
    You wrote a great story, Ethan! What an amazing experience; you boys will never forget this trip.
    Happy Passover. We had a wonderful Seder at my son Dan’s Fiance’e Heidi’s house. I spoke to your Grandad earlier and they had a great Seder too. Miss you all.
    Aunt Doris


  3. Cathy says:

    I am in awe of you guys & your ventures!
    Happy Passover, happy Easter! Love Cathy & The boyz.


  4. dan coplan says:

    awesome! amazing! lucky you . . .


  5. s.c. says:

    Great Story…

    Desert Fun, Doesn’t get any Better Than That…

    When I was in High School, my 10th Grade Chemistry Teacher would often utter the curse “May a Camel Breath On Your Corn Flakes!!!!”.


    1) Were your served Corn Flakes? (I imagine they’d be hard to come by in the desert)

    2) If so,did a Camel Breath on Them???

    2) Were they served with Camel Milk? (What does camel milk taste like?, don’t say chicken)

    3) Is the Breath of Camel as Bad as They SAY????

    So Long and Hope to See You Before Long

    Cheers, Seth


  6. dah says:

    Ethan: you write so nicely and tell a wonderful story of your trip. The adventure will be unforgettable; and the smiling camel was so unique. Love reading all you wrote.

    Donald (aka Grandad)


  7. janni says:

    Ethan, What an adventure you’ve had. The Gobi Desert. WOW. I’m very glad your camel didn’t spit on you. Yuck. When I was in Egypt I rode on a camel named Solomon. I think he was a nice camel, but when he decided to sit down, I thought I was going to go flying over his head and fall on mine. You must have really terrific balance not to fall off that swaying fellow. I’m so glad you and Kenny had such a good time walking and camping on the dunes. Thank you for writing such a good diary and sharing it with all of us. Miss you lots!
    Love, janni


  8. Zachary Rich says:

    Hi Ethan, it’s Zach here. Nice story. I like the smiling camel. We miss you in Montclair. From Zach


  9. Thank you for those nice comments on my blog. I was exagerrating about the part of how much swaying the smiling camel did, but don’t get me wrong, he did do a lot, just not as much as I might have said. Miss you. Love you. Bye!


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