|Boorskt. But watch out for the few curds mixed in there.|
After that it was time to ride. I was most excited for this portion of the trip, galloping through the Gobi desert, wind at my back, no one else in sight; it was shaping up like a great day. Then, a bit of a problem. There were only two horses for the three guests. And, of the two horses, only one had a western saddle.* Thankfully, I snatched up the western saddle leaving Jesse and Dan to decide for themselves who would cram into the back seat of the motorcycle already overstuffed with our luggage, and who would take on the hard wooden saddle.
But, before any long trips you know what you need to do? That's hit the john. Or the half-john. Or whatever you want to call this...
After that we actually got on the
road, path, we just headed directly into the desert.
|Yup. That's it folks. Nothing more. Nothing less.|
Note the alarmingly situated planks offered up to support you while you do your business.
And if they fail, well, lets just say its not a pretty landing.
|What to do, what to do.|
|Sweet set of wheels.|
|Oops, sorry Dan, you won't actually drive the motorcycle. The 12 year boy will.|
|Some comfortable looking horsemen. And Dan (off to the left).|
|Looks like the Gobi Desert Diet is working...|
|Dan refused the horse, non-western saddle, and refused the back of the motorbike, |
so he literally just walked through the desert.
|Mutton, soupy rice. Delish.|
|Ooooh, khooser. Lukewarm khooser.|
|Yeah, looks like a liver.|
|Strips of mutton dry in the side of the Ger. |
I guess its nice for a late-night snack being that it was directly next to their bed.
|Boorkst drying on the roof of the Ger|
What's remarkable is that it is so desolate out there no animals came to eat this. Not even birds.
(Or was it because of the taste?)
Don't think that was actual Sprite, just boiled water in a Sprite bottle.
|From left to right: Dan, Mrs. Tsogtsaikhan, Jesse, Mr. Tsogtsaikhan, and me.|
After so much food Dan had to lay down and rest. Jesse, on the other hand, had eaten so little over the past few days, she also needed to lay down to rest.
|Or maybe after seeing how the meat was stored they both felt a bit queasy...|
And then it was time to go...
|We rolled by horse cart.|
|Not a lot of traffic out here|
|But pretty awesome views.|
Here a young man is herding goats on horseback
|Gers in the distance|
Next up: an 11 kilometer journey by horse cart to meet our Mr. Chimiddorj, arguably the handsomest man in Mongolia, and his family.
|Why hello, handsome.|
Mr. C and his family were really nice and after setting up our tents, we were invited into the Ger for some dinner. Dinner was a bit of a surprise. The Chimiddorjs, it seems, are a more wealthy family, and it showed in the food. They served up, mutton, rice, and, wait for it, potato! Yum. Well, not 100% yum, but the potato bits were of a familiar flavor and texture, and we ate them all straight away. But then, what were we left with? Mutton and soupy rice. Oh boy. Chalk up one more dash for the “your food is so good, but I am so full, how about a game of Shagai?” dance.
Mr. Chimiddorj showed us the "campground" and briefly helped us set up our tents.
Then he sent Mrs. Chimiddorj to help Jesse execute. The men helpfully supervised.
That evening we successfully endured our first night of
camping in the rain. In the Gobi desert! I know.
The desert, where it rains like once a decade! But rain it did. Thankfully, our Ger to Ger tent was a champ
and we stayed plenty dry. Cozy even.
|Oh, hello potatoes.|
Best meal so far. Easily. Bottom 10% of meals on the trip so far. Easily.
|This is where we'd set up our tent.|
Here I cruise the Gobi with Twinny Brown.
|Success. Two little tents in one big Gobi.|
|Another awesome sunset.|
* A western saddle is a far more comfortable saddle than a traditional Mongolian one. And while it can be uncomfortable to ride on a western saddle, it is nearly torture for a westerner to ride on a Mongolian one