Yes part 1: too many beautiful things to share!
But let’s start at the beginning: on the 27th we, and many other tourists, took the nighttrain from Ulan Ude to Ulan Bator. Luckily the border crossing went smoothly, so we were still able to get a few hours of sleep.
The friendly driver from Zaya hostel was already waiting to take us straight to our comfy and clean rooms and after a bit of freshening up we set out to see a bit of UB (as the locals call it ;)).
We were all pretty anxious to get out of the city, so that same afternoon we booked a 4 day trip to inner Mongolia with our own driver called Bimba and guide called Joy :). The next day at 9 we started our long drive to Kharkhorum, the old capital of Mongolia. The drive itself was simply amazing…we saw so many animals (yak, cow, horse, vulture, hawk etc etc) and the landscape around us was just so beautiful! We also had our first Mongolian meal: meat soup with fat of a sheep’s tail…;)
Kharkhorum and Erdenerzuu (a monestry) were both extremely beautiful and interesting. We took a little tour in the museum and then went out with Joy to see the monestary. After that we drove to our guesthouse (9 gers in a row) and had a lovely dinner (meat ;)).
That night we had our first sleep in a ger (with lots of spiders!) underneath thousands of stars :). And yes: it was freezing and the beds were pretty uncomfortable, but we enjoyed it anyway!
my red nose means it was a really cold morning!
The next day we did another 6 hour drive (mainly offroad) to the Orkhon Valley. Again: wild animals everywhere and green fields with meandering rivers and hills…so beautiful!! Photos really don’t do it justice..
That (cold cold) night we stayed with a nomadic family (in a separate ger). Very interesting to see their way of life and a true reality check: they live in a ger 365 days a year, moving every season and facing temperatures of +40 celsius and -40 celsius. No bathroom, shower or running water and just enough solar power for one light bulb. Their animals run free and only come back at night, so they can milk them in the morning.( They usualy have a dog to fight off the wolves at night.) The families we met were friendly and hospitable and it was truly eyeopening to see their harsh way of life.
khuushuur: fried dumplings with mutton (sheep meat)
Getting wood for the (much needed) fire
The little ones kept sharing their pine seeds with us :).
Thanks for reading! Part 2 will follow soon…