Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 4: from the Ya-hu oasis to Hami.

[Back to Part 3: from the Hun-kua-ling sandhills to the Ya-hu oasis] From Ya-Hu to Hami, we can see that Younghusband now has to turn south, as his own map shows. The journey takes from June 23rd to July 4th, or twelve days. His mapmaker places Ula Khutun almost halfway from Ya-hu to Hami, butContinue reading “Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 4: from the Ya-hu oasis to Hami.”

Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 3: Hun-kua-ling sandhills to Ya-hu oasis

[Go back to Part 2: From the Galpin Gobi to the Hun-kua-ling sandhills.] From here to the Ya-hu oasis (which Younghusband reaches on June 23rd) the route is obscure, and we find old maps less useful. We have to rely more upon comparing his route description with images of the landscape. Let’s work backwards fromContinue reading “Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 3: Hun-kua-ling sandhills to Ya-hu oasis”

Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 2: Galpin Gobi to Hun-kua-ling sandhills

[Go back to Part 1: Kwei-hwa-cheng to Galpin Gobi] On the 13th we passed through some low hills, and then descended a valley in which were some gnarled and stunted elm trees, the first trees I have seen in Mongolia. They were about thirty feet high, and evidently very old. We then passed over aContinue reading “Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 2: Galpin Gobi to Hun-kua-ling sandhills”

Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 1: Kwei-hwa-cheng to Galpin Gobi

[Go back to the Introduction] At the end of Chapter 4 of The Heart of a Continent, it is April, 1887, and Younghusband has travelled northwest from Peking to a town called Kalgan, and then to a further town—from which caravans to the far West depart—called Kwei-hwa-cheng. I’ll begin by pulling in one of theContinue reading “Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887, Part 1: Kwei-hwa-cheng to Galpin Gobi”

Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887: Introduction

In 1887, Francis Younghusband travelled across China, a tale he told in his 1896 book, The Heart of a Continent. Although the book describes Younghusband’s entire journey overland journey from Peking to British India, the part we’re going to look at is specifically the first leg of his trip, the crossing of the Gobi desertContinue reading “Mapping Francis Younghusband in the Gobi Desert, 1887: Introduction”

Looking for Lepzinsk

In chapter 3 of Charles Howard-Bury’s Mountains of Heaven, written in 1913 but published in 1990, the author details a ten-day journey on Russian post roads. (I discussed a map I made of the central part of his journey in this previous post.) He arrives in the town of Semipalatinsk by steamer (coming up theContinue reading “Looking for Lepzinsk”

Mapping the travels of Charles Howard-Bury

[Update: an expanded version of this post has been published in Ripcord Adventure Journal, vol. 1, no. 1] I’ve just finished a map for a book that had no map: Mountains of Heaven: Travels in the Tian Shan, 1913. This version of the Charles Howard-Bury’s journals from his travels in what are today eastern KazakhstanContinue reading “Mapping the travels of Charles Howard-Bury”