Sunday the 1st March to Thursday the 5th in Mongolia
01.03.2009 - 05.03.2009 -5 °C
We have uploaded some photos..hurrah!
After 4days on the train we knew that we smelt bad but when we got to the hostel in Ulan Bator we were dismayed to find that the hot water was broken!! After an hour or so praying for it to be fixed we gave up and went for a frrrreeezzzing cold shower (Ice Cream head alert!) Did the trick though and we all felt much better after it and some food in the nearest eatery we could find..none other then an Irish pub. They really are everywhere! The rest of the day was spent finding our bearings around the city and visiting a local Buddhist Monastery.We quickly discovered that crossing the road in Mongolia is no mean feat, the drivers are fekin crazy! They beep at everyone and everything and the green man doesn't have any meaning whatsoever. Its basically a game of chicken to see who gives in first. Pretty scary but we got the hang of it ie follow the locals.
On Monday morning we left the hostel to go to a Ger camp about 60km outside of the city in Gorkhi Terelj National Park. A ger camp is basically where Mongolian nomads live and tend to their livestock. We stayed in a ger which is a very solid felt tent with a furnace inside for warmth.
There were 6 of us in the Ger 3 Irish, 1 English (Ben), 1 Canadian (Jamie) and 1 Malaysian (Ray) so a good mix :-) While we were there we went for a few wanders in the hills in the surrounding area and the scenery is stunning! We also went pony riding on the most relaxed and placid pony's ever. It was a struggle to get them to trot let alone anything faster. Kate and Ben both conquered their fear of pony's/horses so they were very proud of themselves and so they should be. On the next hill we went to visit the pet camel..surreal!
We had brilliant craic in the ger that night and the stars outside were something to behold. The family who live on the camp fed us traditional Mongolian food and tea which was all very yummy(ish) and we arrived back to Ulan Bator very happy Ger campers!
One of the nights we went to a pub to see a Mongolian rock band called Altan Urag (check them out on Youtube!).They only did a 15minute set which is common practice apparently but they were fantastic! Throat singing is something everyone should hear. After the pub we headed to a nightclub to break it down Mongolian styleeee. We also visited the International Intellectual Museum http://www.iqmuseum.mn which is a museum full to the brim of puzzles from super easy 3 pieces up to thousands of pieces which require 50 thousand moves to solve it. Really amazing chess sets and puzzles from all over the world aswell.
We found a great Veggie restaurant much to the dismay of the lads from the hostel cos when we dragged them there the most potent drink they could get was 0% alcohol..character building I say..
1) Aoife thinking camels roll in the hay for extra insulation
2) Crossing the road in Ulan Bator
3) Anna washing all her clothes in the one go and ending up with pick and mix clothes on and looking like a German tourist..Sehr gut!
Stay tuned for Annas food rant..