Two days in Terelj
Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
124Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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A few days after our return to UB we got chatting to a lovely English couple, Emily and Stefan and within a couple of hours we'd decided to go to Terelj together and do the whole trip independently instead of going on one of the many tours on offer. We found a suggested ger camp run by a Dutch guy and decided to spend a few days there. Getting to Terelj was a breeze. It's an hour out of the city and the road there is tarmacked!!! Of course this does encourage Mongolian drivers to test out the speeding ability of their cars. Fortunately, the government decided to invest in educating drivers about the dangers of speeding. Not in your big-poster kind of way but by placing a burnt car that had actually crashed on the road killing it's driver and passengers, on a big stone podium on the side of the road. Hmmmm it definitely succeeded in scaring the beejesus out of me.
The weather in Mongolia is most definitely female. It finds it quite hard to make up its mind and has the ability to change from blistering hot to freezing cold in minutes! Sure enough we experienced the full extent of this the minute we got to Terelj. The temperature dropped to minus degrees and soon enough a snow storm came our way! The four of us shuddered in our ger and decided that any exploring had to be postponed till tomorrow. Hmmm what to do when stuck in a ger? Well we did have wine and beer and vodka available....Sure enough we proceeded to finish off all of our alcohol stash in one afternoon and had a great time learning new card games like 'Sh!the@d'.
We woke up the next day half frozen to death. We'd used up all our wood and the fire had gone out. It seemed that Bert had not yet mastered the art of insulation as cold air was gushing into the ger making it feel like we were in a freezer. I went off in search of wood and soon found some logs which needed splitting, and a sleeping pig guarding them. I collected some small logs and being unsure of the pig headed back by the gate. It later transpired that I needn't have worried about the pig. He actually paid our ger a visit and munched on the boiled sweets we gave him.
I was so glad that Karen finally got on a Mongolian horse. We had 2 great guides with us. One of them was 80 going on 8! He had a lust for life even at that age. A man after my own heart.
After the horse riding we all decided to walk to the nearest village to get some more booze supplies. It was a great walk, crossing over streams by walking on falling trees, loads of wildlife and beautiful scenery. As we neared the village we decided to have a quick beer in a fancy hotel. As we were about to walk in, a Mongolian bloke shouted out for us not to go in there and have a drink with him and his friends. So we duly obliged. We came to a bar that was closed but this being Mongolia that didn't stop the locals from hammering on the door. A few minutes later we were in the Mongolian equivalent of a working men's club! It was all very surreal. The 3 locals that joined us were all pissed and mad in their own individual ways. The oldest one was the loudest and most confident. He could not stop talking insisting it was his birthday! The other 2 were a couple and were very strange. The man started sniffing my beads on my wrist. Apparently he loved the smell of them? I could not smell anything myself but I gave him one as he liked them so much. Well he was over the moon with that. It was as if I gave him a case full of money. We drank with them for a good couple of hours. You will see the outcome on the video clip we post on Facebook. It was a very funny experience.
We then had the problem of walking back to our Ger, slightly pissed and with crossings over streams. The boys had no mishaps. The girls on the other hand tried to take a short cut and got slightly we feet shall we say! ha ha.
We had another fun night of playing cards and chatting. Stefan & Emily are also traveling for a year but a different route to us. If you are reading this you two, did you get to Tibet?
So that concludes our trip to Terelj and Mongolia for that matter! It has truly been an amazing 4 weeks. I think you can tell from the photos of the place. Come! before it changes.
Next stop: The big one. China. Soon to be the world's number 1 economy, superpower and all that. Bring it on!
Love to all of you,
Paul & Karen xxx