To drive to Mongolia, a challenge, yes, but seems so easy compared with this morning's, which is to gracefully accept that I must get back to my pre summer experience routine of being in an office. Being in a school, trying to induce some semblance of sense and order into some fairly chaotic lives of young people. I hope my experience will somehow help rather than hinder. That I'll get through today with some grace and dignity, be in the moment, not be resentful that I'm not still out there in the Mongolian wonderscape. So if you were wishing me luck back then, perhaps you can wish me a little more today.
From Rosekeepers Cottage, Stratford upon Avon, Thursday 25th August 2011, 07.00am.
Big thank you to everyone who made my dream of a lifetime - to go to Mongolia - come true. Especially Mike and Betsy (the Landy Defender). And to everyone who followed the blog, and cheered us on, and sponsored us, and followed our journey in thought and spirit. read more »
We just arrived back from 2 days staying with a family at their gers (yurts is apparently a russian word!). They were really kind although there was almost no english available. We slept on their board beds with very thiin mattresses but a little vodka helped to get us to sleep. We went horse riding yesterday and I didn't know it was so painful! It was ok in 1st & 3rd gears, but 2nd was extremely bouncy and I feel battered. Wish I'd kept the cushions from Betsy now. Despite that, the scenery was the best yet with mountain after mountain appearing and we even caught a glimpse of an eagle after it had swooped on its prey. read more »
Had a great night with the Mongol Rally folks which ended up with me singing a version of "Bound for South Australia" with different words and the gang singing the replies. The rest of the restaurant seemed to enjoy it too! We arrived back at the guesthouse last night to find the other 6 beds in our dorm room occupied. Unbelievably, everyone was very quiet and I had a good nights sleep.
Went to the Go Help offices and finished the peperwork and were asked to draw a picture of our edventure which Laura did with brilliant results! They gave us a trophy and a picture each and pics were taken with Betsy. We cleared her out of all the things we wanted to keep/throw and tomorrow is the official handover. Sad to see her go but that's the whole point of the trip.
Let me out of here. UB is CRAZY. Maybe coming here direct from UK would not be so shocking, but after being out there in the big blue skies and miles of uninhabited beautiful terrain, it is mind blowing to be nearly mown down by Hummers, and jostled in the streets and hit by buses and hooted at, the upside is that the Lotus Guest House, at 8 dollars a night has hot showers and a comfy sofa, which are still a great luxury - tho i epect novelty will soon wear off. In balance I think I still prefer the stink of yak, white weird foodstuffs, gers and no toilets and the wide wide open space. I was happy to cook one pot noodles and simple stuff squatted over a tranga, and sleep in the tent, tho I guess it gets very very cold here in the winter. read more »
We had a good day today visiting a couple of projects run by Go Help, a day centre and a library where all the kids were full of beans and had us running round playing games. We managed to book return flights for nest Tuesday so maybe we'll hit the markets tomorrow after clearing Betsy and then head out to the country to stay with a nomadic family for the weekend.
Nine of us are hooked up driving from olgii to hovd onv a rough road. Tho we only met that day we all slept like sardines together. Some feeling better than others after a trad supper of yak and other mongolian fayre and copious vodka shots to honour the sky gods. We were so happy to get put of compoumd after 30 hours but although Mike had promised to run naked round compound he didn't but I've let him off cos he sang solo up the junction as brit afte [Missing part 04]
Stayed at dreamland last night in araqaveer (wrong spelling I'm sure) in gers. Had the best Mongolian cooked food yet and surprisingly good eggs and Bacon this morning. The mongol rally team, kaput, went ahead to ub and we'll follow shortly. They're in a Ford ka, two american girls and two brit lads. Really good folks and great fun.