I guess it turns out that if you’re at the extreme southern edge of the map in Gerudo, it kicks up a fierce sandstorm so that you can’t see any further ahead, and thus hides the boundary zone.
Reversing course, then, I move northward, and explore the eastern edge of the desert, looking for any more korok seeds and shrines that I might have missed. It’s very sparse, but I still find two or three koroks, but no additional shrines.
I pass through the desert on a course that takes me to the area just south of the big labyrinth, and I climb up to explore the southern plain, and I encounter two fully functional Guardians, who I destroy, and one disabled but functioning Guardian, who I also destroy, picking up a lot of ancient technology parts in the process.
There are many natural stone towers throughout this area, and I climb most of them just to check to make sure there’s no koroks hiding up there. Then I make my way back down south, gliding to where there’s a triad of skull-caves. These are barely inhabited, just 3-4 lizals altogether, which is strange. Why so few? They are well equipped, but weak, shooting fire arrows at me, I opt to not take any chances, and return fire with ice arrows, which one-shots them. Two of them drop bundles of 5 fire arrows, so I end up with a net gain of special ordinance.
One of the skull caves has a rock block puzzle that unlocks a korok — the first time I’ve ever encountered a korok seed in a monster’s lair. It seems wrong and unnatural to find it here.
To the south are the ruins of Gerudo desert’s eastern Barrens again, and I can pass through one more time on the way to the sand seal race course. Doing so, I find one or two additional korok seeds, bringing my total up to 148. It’s a long, slow slog through the desert due to the sand, and I don’t have a seal nearby to help make it faster, but this just means I can be a bit more thorough in searching the wastes.
I reach the sand seal race course by morning, and sign up to try to beat the record. They don’t really tell me or show me the course, so I take the challenge blind on the first try, and almost but don’t quite make it, blundering off course about 3/4 of the way through. The second time, I almost complete it, but go about 10 seconds over the 1:30 time to beat due to the sand seal suddenly veering off course just at the very end of the race.
I try several more times over the course of the next hour, getting increasingly frustrated at the difficulty I’m having controlling the seal. Eventually, I realize that what’s happening is that the seal controls use the gyroscopic sensors, and if I hold the gamepad completely level, the seal is very easy to control, but if I incline the controller so that the top of the controller is vertical, it causes the seal to be extremely prone to turning on its own, making huge wide turns that I overcorrect, and often just going in a huge circle for no reason, like the world’s dumbest racing seal. I thought at first that the difficult controls were part of the challenge, but when I discover that I just need to hold the gamepad level, I complete the race easily, ten seconds under time. Victory unlocks another shrine, where I get a nice shield (but can’t use it, my inventory is full) and a spirit orb.
I now have 6 spirit orbs, so I go to the goddess statue in Gerudo and cash in four of them for another heart container, giving me a total of 14.
There’s a few more things I am supposed to do, or I guess can optionally do, but aren’t really essential to the main adventure. There’s a woman who sits on the walls of the town at night eating melons. I don’t know what her deal is, but they were talking about her in the cantina, and so I went up to talk to her, but she told me to go away. I wonder if I revealed myself to be a voe if that would change her reaction. A few people in Gerudo have told me they know that I’m male, but that they will keep my secret confidential, so I’m not sure what would happen if I just took off the disguise and started walking around. There are some Gorons in town, and one of them looks male, I’m not sure, but later this is confirmed when I talk to Traysi, the person who writes the “Rumor Mill” publication that I find here and there, mentions that male Gorons don’t seem to have a problem getting into Gerudo. Maybe times are changing and they’re relaxing the strict women-only tradition?
The guy who runs laps around the town’s outer walls still won’t give me his sand shoes. He says something about an 8th heroine statue that I’m supposed to photograph for him, and that someone in the town knows more about it, but I can’t find anyone who will tell me anything about it. Where the Gerudo soldiers practice, I see a statue that looks a bit like the 7 Heroines that I found out in the desert, only not nearly as massive, and I try taking a picture of it, but this doesn’t seem to be the solution to that puzzle.
I spend a long time going about town talking to people at different times of day, but don’t get anywhere.
Maybe if I can’t figure out what else to do, I should go back north to Rito village and see if I can conquer their divine beast.