Mongolia: The Gobi Desert, Part 2

Part two of the Gobi trip!

Carrying on from where I left off last time, we stayed in a ger one night with a woman who told us we were the first tourists she’d hosted that season. In the morning we also visited her shop, situated in another ger, where she sold some souvenirs and home-made clothing, shoes and hats.

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This is another frozen river, which begins at a decent sized frozen waterfall. You walk along the ice to get to it. Pretty cool stuff.

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Every ger we stayed at had dozens, if not hundreds of animals running around freely.

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I haven’t played knuckle bones since primary school but most Mongolians keep several of them handy. They’re actual knuckle bones, of course.

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I was glad that one night we were able to have a Mongolian BBQ for dinner. It was cooked on top of the furnace in the ger. In the pot went goat meat, potatoes, carrot and onions. Salt is added but not too much else. As well as sitting on top of the fire, fire red rocks are added inside the pot. The whole lot is left for around 45 minutes to cook.

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This is the white steppe. I’m told that these cliffs used to be the shore line for a sea around 10 million years ago. We walked down to the bottom and then back up again. Not gonna lie, I’ve had enough of walking upwards through sand.

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Our driver changed a flat tyre in about 5 minutes. I think he’s done it a few times. He says he has to get new shock absorbers every year.

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Nearing the end of our tour, our final overnight stop was to be the Terelj national park. This area requires an entry fee, which was included in the tour. The first thing that struck me about this place was the rock formations. It’s like the architect of Mongolia got bored and began stacking rocks on top of others as if he was playing Jenga with himself. It snowed when we were there, which proved how quickly the weather can change; it was 15 degrees and sandy a mere couple of hours earlier.

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Hand made fried mutton dumplings. Fuck. Yes.

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It’s not uncommon for baby goats to come and jump around on the beds in the ger. If the Mongolians spot them doing it they get a hiding but I think it’s hilarious.

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No trip east of Ulaanbaatar would be complete without a visit to the Chengis Khan statute. This stainless steal mammoth is around 40 meters tall. You can head up on to the horse’s neck via some stairs. Inside there’s also the world’s biggest boot, a traditional Mongolian type.

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Visiting the statue concluded the end of the 7 day tour. We saw some amazing landscapes, got a good insight into the nomad lifestyle, ate some interesting food and spent time with the locals, who are possibly the most chilled out people on earth. I’d highly recommend coming and checking the place out, it’s a different type of holiday for sure.

Thanks for reading!

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