In due course, we arrive at Hulun Lake.
Part of the Hulun Buir region, Hulun Lake contains large amounts of freshwater and has grassy banks, with a few buildings scattered around the perimeter.
The two guys erect the Chinese popup-tent in the high wind, then we head off to explore the area and collect firewood.
On the way we meet a couple who are recently married. They seem a bit young to be getting married, but perhaps it is just me. After all, I’ve had plenty of time to get married, but never have.
Mandy tells me that she’s travelled from Guandong, in the East of China, to the North West, and is now heading to the North East. I try and visualise this and think back to the zig-zag bridge. Although her journey is only taking two months, it is rare for Chinese women to travel alone for extended periods, and she has run into some discrimination along the way.
There is a ger camp in the distance and I walk over to find that it is tourist accommodation, its bright flags signalling that it is open for business.
I want to walk around the whole lake, but my friends tell me that it’s further than it looks, and that it will be dark soon.
Heading back the other way, we find a market garden advertising accommodation, a concrete ger. My friends enquire about the price, but tell me that it’s too expensive. It’s a shame, because, with its round gateway, it seems like a neat little oasis in this sea of wind.