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The Trans-Siberian

Mongolian steppe and Ulaan Baator

MONGOLIA | Sunday, 30 September 2012 | Views [414]

We spent 2 days on the Mongolian steppes in a ger, the traditional Mongolian dwelling. It was so cold at night as there is no electricity or heat (besides a small stove). The first day I hiked to the top of a small mountain and hung out with a band of semi-wild horses that were grazing there. They would come up and stare at me, but wouldn't let me get too close! 2nd day we rode horses across the steppe to a giant statue of Gengis Khan- it's taller then the Statur of Liberty and has a museum in its base. Food consisted of mutton, morning noon and night. We had mutton salad, mutton meatballs, mutton soup, mutton pies, mutton ribs. You name it, we had itin mutton form! The first thing I ordered once back in the city was a big salad! We also saw the Natural History Museum- lots of dinosaur bones have been found in Mongolia. We head to the Gobi tomorrow- 3 days in a ger and camel riding and jeep ride through the desert. Hopefully the camels will behave better then the horses- dad's horse decided to lay down and roll in the sand, with him on it! I couldn't stop laughing! Also tried archery, which I am horrible at, and played some Mongolian board games. I befriended a little 3 legged goat- she was so cute! And loved to have her head scratched. She would try to run to keep up, which was quite the challenge for her! It was so pitiful, but adorable at the same time.         I think UB is easier to get around then cities in Russia. A lot of stores and signs have English plus Mongolian so I can usually figure out where we are and what I am eating!           Getting to UB was interesting. We boarded the train in Irkutsk at 22:10 and supposed to arrive in UB in the am. It doesn't look that far on the map. But when morning rolled around, we found that we were only in Ulan Ude, on the other side of Lake Baikal! We still had another 24 hours to go! Alas, this was not the express train! The border crossing took 7 hours- 5 on the Russian side and 2 on the Mongolian side. By the time we reached the Mongolian border control, I was desperate for a bathroom, but we weren't allowed off e train and they lock the train bathrooms the entire time! 

Tags: hiking, horse riding, mongolian steppe


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