Ger Sledging and Slow Beasts of Burden

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Flag of Mongolia  ,
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

09:04 On leaving our tent this morning we found a cloudy day and a fresh sprinkling of snow over the ground and rocks, and still a few flakes falling. It wasn't very cold though.

Through the night a lady came into our tent and kept the fire going so that we wouldn't get too cold. I did have to get up at 1 to trudge over the 100m to the toilet and it wasn't that cold actually.

We went for breakfast just before 9 and half expecting yaks milk and some sort of sour bread, I was pleasantly surprised to get bread with butter and jam, plastic cheese (those processed slices wrapped in plastic that I just call plastic cheese!), fried eggs and round pieces of fried ham with tea and coffee.
We also found another group of people had arrived, about 9 of mixed nationality, including 2 guys who we met in moscow (the smelly ones if you recall! Lol!). We are all going horseriding this afternoon so will be a big group. We were talking about random stuff and one thing that amused us was what Steve said:

Steve's wisdom of the day.
Pole vaulting evolved from caber tossing...

After breakfast we took our sledges up a big hill, which was a hell of a walk and after yesterday's mountaineering expedition my legs felt pretty fatigued. I made it up though then set off head first down the hill on the sledge, it was SO much fun. We did a couple of runs then went back to our tent to dry off a bit. I put my gloves on some kindling sticks on the stove and after we cranked the fire up I saw them smoking and discovered that bits of my gloves had started to melt! Argh! No it's ok, it was just the edges, they are still fully functional!

We had lunch and then at 2 we set off to do some horse riding. The horses are really ponies, almost Shetland ponies they are so small. As some people may recall I used to ride horses at school (thumbs up mum and dad for letting me :) ) so I'm ok on the beasts with 4 legs. Well apart from the last horse I rode in Kenya, which was an ex racehorse and ALL it wanted to do was run. I clung on for dear life with the reins hauled back but it refused to go slow. I couldn't walk for about 2 days after that! In stark contrast the beast I was riding, as hard and often as I simultaneously kicked, whacked it with a rope and shouted "tchoo!" (which I suppose is meant to mean something to the pony) it wouldn't go any faster than a walk. I managed to get it to break into a trot once after much swearing and shouting, oh and it being slightly downhill. I wonder how my legs will feel tomorrow, they're already knackered. I needs rest and a hot bath.
It was a pretty ride interspersed with a walk up yet another hill to a monastery, which was in a great location with a view down a valley, and you had to cross an Indiana jones style suspension bridge to get there. I was last, my poor legs have done more in the last 2 days than in the last 2 years. It had some interesting paintings on the beams of people being tortured in hell I think. Will put up a picture.
We spent 3 hours out and finished up at turtle rock. I'm not sure if it looked like a turtle, but it was big.
I was freezing in the bus, and hungry, and quite worn out. When I get back to the tent I'm going to curl up in my bed.
Steve and Bata decided to climb the rock so were waiting for them to get back.

The fatigue has set in. Legs knackered, achy arms, achy stomach muscles. I need a holiday!

We went back rested for half an hour and then had a cooking lesson. Well, they'd made the dough, and the filling so all it was was us rolling out the dough flat and putting the filling in it an then pinching up the edges to make a dumpling. They then disappeared into the kitchen we're not allowed to see and came back fried.
Had dinner at 7, some fried dumplings and a Mongolian BBQ. Then at 8 I couldn't take anymore- I was broken, and went to bed.

Best thing - sledging

Worst thing - the total fatigue that has overcome me

Most beautiful - The view from the Monsatary
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cpbirch on

Thanks for continuing to take the effort to describe everything you're doing, I'm really enjoying reading about your exploits. I just wish I could be there to enjoy them with you! I so need to sort out my work situation so I can do these things too. You're my inspiration! Keep writing!


Mummers on

O f course I have been reading this since the very beginning, but I feel I have to come out in the open and say how thrilled we are to see how much energy you are putting in to this trip. You are like some crazy dedicated travel reporter throwing yourself into all the activities and experiences, and then to cap it all telling us at home what you have been doing and showing us some really lovely photos. Keep going darling.
We love your best/worst/most beautiful.

Glen Waters on

Golden rule for travellers: don't look in the kitchen! (Just make sure the food is hot, unopened, or unpeeled).
Blessed are the pie-makers!

cpbirch on

Just seen this online - thought you might be interested


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