I wanted to go on one last adventure before I left Mongolia, and so I found myself in a Russian military truck with a Mongolian driver called Ikhee, who wore a leather jacket and promised me that if I couldn’t speak Mongolian now, I would be able to after a bottle of vodka. My first glimpse of him was seeing him staggering down the street carrying an entire crate of cigarettes, which he threw in the back of the truck.
Ikhee was also in charge of buying us provisions for the journey. Breakfast day 2 consisted of a bowl containing cucumber, tomatoes, a slice of cheese still in its plastic, and a hunk of swiss roll.
Also on the trip was a young Dutch couple called Esther and Jordy, who were stopping in Mongolia before continuing on to Beijing with the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Here is a record of the trip in pictures:
DAY 1 – KHARKHORIN
We stayed at a ger guesthouse that night, in beds that were 90 years old.
We climbed up a hill in the evening to watch the sunset.
DAY 2 – ERDENE ZUU MONASTERY & THE WATERFALL
Here we stayed the night in a nomad family ger. Jordy put way too much wood on the fire, nearly burning us to a crisp and depleting the Mongolian population even further. The nomad (wearing pin stripe trousers and a golfing sweater) came out of his ger with a cigar between his teeth, laughing like some kind of Bond villain.
DAY 3 – MINI GOBI
I made friends.
Outside our ger there was a pen full of lambs and goat kids. The nomad showed me one little goat which he was particularly proud of because its horns were just coming through. He scooped up the little thing and placed him in my arms. I spent a happy evening cuddling the sweet thing.
In the evening, the nomads got on motorbikes and camels and herded the sheep and goats back into the pen.
DAY 4 – BACK TO UB
No photos to show for this, it was just a very long 7 hour drive back to the city. One of the nomad’s sons had to go back to school in Ulaanbaatar, and so he jumped in the truck too. 7 hours is a long time to listen to Mongolian radio by the way.