Mongolia Photo Montage

So I thought that I would round off my adventure by putting up the photos which actually have me in them! As I hope you can see from the pics, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the incredible country of Mongolia.

Thank you to everyone who followed this blog — your encouragement meant a lot to me.

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4 Day Road Trip in Pictures

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

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We stopped here for lunch (‘khuushuur’, or fried dumplings), and so that Ikhee could buy a Coke from that huge Coca Cola lorry in the middle.
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Kharkhorin is the ruined ancient capital of Mongolia

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We couldn’t get this dog off
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Thank you Rabies jabs

We stayed at a ger guesthouse that night, in beds that were 90 years old.

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We climbed up a hill in the evening to watch the sunset.

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Kharkhorin on the right

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DAY 2 – ERDENE ZUU MONASTERY & THE WATERFALL

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This was the last ‘road’ — from then on we were just hurtling over rocks, driving through rivers and over frozen lakes. We were thrown around like laundry in a tumble dryer, and the back right door kept flying open, meaning Jordy ended up on more than one occasion with half his body out of the truck.

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The waterfall was completely frozen except for that bit on the right, which was crashing down onto the ice below.

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DSC01375DSC01376DSC01378DSC01436 (2)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.DSC01440 (2)

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It was a long way to the toilet
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And there were yaks everywhere, which made walking in the dark a bit problematic.

DAY 3 – MINI GOBI

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[Not pictured — Ikhee charging around the field flapping his arms and squarking, in a heroic attempt to make the vultures take off]
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This might be my favourite picture of Mongolia
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Orkhon valley
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This is Mongolia, where you can drive for hours and hours and not see a thing except for animal skeletons and horses.
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Ikhee drove us up a hill and stopped the truck at this monument. It marks the exact centre of Mongolia, so of course we all made sure to stand right in the middle of it.

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Arrived at our final nomad ger
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This gent was brilliant. He took us camel riding and horse riding, and spent the entire time grinning at us, going “Vodka?” and pretending to down a glass. In all, I reckon he repeated this about thirty times.

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The inside of the nomad’s ger
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The inside of our ger

I made friends.

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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.

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Here’s the little fella

In the evening, the nomads got on motorbikes and camels and herded the sheep and goats back into the pen.

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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.