Food, Visas and more food.
Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
124Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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Before I begin I have to say where I am writing this so you get an idea how far behind we are on this blog writing lark. We are in Busan, South Korea as we wait to board a boat to Japan. We are so sorry about the delay but there are too many things to see and do in this wonderful world.
So back to Mongolia.
After 14 days we were heading back to the city of Ulan Bator. We could not wait to have a hot shower, some decent food and a good night's sleep. So we told our guide and driver that we did not want breakfast or lunch, just head straight there!
Which the driver did but he had a little surprise for us. As we neared Ulan Bator he got off the phone to his wife and invited us all around his for lunch! It was a lovely gesture which we gladly accepted. He had a lovely house on the outskirts of the city and it was great to see what a Mongolian home that is not a Ger looks like. It was another example of how generous and warm the Mongolian people are.
After checking back in to our guest house, we arranged with Bob, Simon and Mayla to go to a French restaurant in the evening. Ahhhhh, how wonderful it was to have some lovely French food. We had huge a Chateaubriand, washed down with Red wine and finished it all off with Creme Brulee. Yummmmmmm. The French owner of the restaurant said that he is in business because of people like us, i.e. starving travelers who have been out on long excursions. Ha ha!
Paul and I had originally planned to do another 6 day tour in Terelj National Park after a short rest in UB. The only thing that we needed to do before we left was apply for a Chinese visa, easy...or not. Turning up at 10 a.m. at the Chinese embassy did not automatically guarantee us being able to apply for a visa. We found out that we needed to be there at least 2 hours before opening time as only 40 people could apply in 1 day. We also needed all sorts of paperwork including a travel ticket out of China. As if we've planned that far ahead!! Luckily someone told us of a great agency, that provided fake itineraries so that people could get their visa. Sure enough the urban myth was true and the lovely agency provided us with the necessary documents and did not even charge us. Of course, the embassy only opens for a few hours 3 times a week and the next day it was due to be open was a public holiday in China, meaning that we had to wait for another 4 days before we could apply - no long trips to Terelj for us. Ah the joys of bureaucracy.
By for now peeps
Lots of love
Karen and Paul