Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mongolia photos

Some pics from my trip last week.

Horseback riding around Lake Khovsgal.

Three weeks ago this was covered in thick ice and my guide couldn't walk further. There are now two blocks left in the shadows of the August sun. 

A reindeer from the reindeer nation people. Those antlers are big! 

Climbing the sand dunes. 

Milk tea dumplings on a rainy day. Yum! 

Some say the Switzerland of Asia (Lake Khovsgal). 

The kids and I after I rode one of their camels. The boy (11) carved some camels from wood and I bought one. They also offered, and I tried, camel's milk. 

An old Russian van. Lots of these left from socialist times. 

There were many herds of horses being raised in Gobi. Here is a mom and baby we drove by. 

One of the gers I stayed in. 

The Olympics building in the capital. Mongolia focused on wrestling, judo, boxing and archery and had some of the best results given their small population (~2 million). 

Riding a camel in Gobi. 

Running camel herd that was previously sitting across our road :). 

Monday, August 6, 2012


I have issues with the showers in Asia. The issue generally being me, not the showers themselves.

One trip to Bali with a friend I took cold showers because the warm water never came. It was okay because it was open air and warm outside. Come to find out, my friend had nice warm showers and I just didn't know how to work the faucet. Unfortunately, that has not been the only time in my three years here.

My first two showers in Mongolia went okay. I had temperatures I could work with and enough water to wash myself. My third shower was only cold water. I am sure I missed a switch or something but I could not wash my hair. It was a cool night and staying warm was more important at that point than clean hair. Although it was a mess after a day on dusty roads and playing in the sand dunes. Oh well, no one is here to see me.

This morning I had the opposite problem. Too hot! Once I figured out how to get the water to the shower spigot and not the tub faucet, I couldn't find any cold water. I could barely keep my hand in the water much less my body. I tried just my hair but it hit my scalp and that was enough of that. To the sink with a cup of water for my hair. It worked okay but not well, so I decided to just try conditioner and at least get the tangles of my rat's nest sorted. About 45 minutes later and no time for breakfast, I had a sufficient braid.

Hopefully it (the braid) lasts until our next destination this afternoon in the north and I can master a new shower ;).

Gobi highlights

I was in Gobi, a southern province in Mongolia most known for the Gobi desert. We did lots of driving and trying to stay cool. We didn't hit a paved road outside of the airport parking lot. It was the smallest airport I have seen :)!

I did a camel ride (ouch!), found some fun local souvenirs, played in the sand dunes, carved my name in the Flaming Cliffs, drank camel's milk and laid my hands on some remaining winter's ice in the middle of this desert land. It has been a fun, yet low key 2.5 days and I am waiting in the airport for my flight back to the capital. Tomorrow morning we head for the north.

Happy Monday :)!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Layover in Beijing

Arrived at 6am, expected to depart at 3pm. This left some time to amuse myself in the airport. I spent it at the lounge which was pretty nice. I found a private sleeping room, skyped home and took a nap for a couple hours. My overnight flight didn't offer much sleep.

The entertainment room offered Olympic highlights in mandarin, a coke and some ice cream. The nine or so hours went fairly quickly. Having my iPad is really nice. Although no Facebook or blog access online. Then you remember you are in China :).

Go team USA!

Mongolia bound

I don't remember where I am in my countdown, but it is closer. One week in Mongolia starts now. Flight departs in one hour, then a long layover in Beijing and on to Ulan Bataar (sp?, capital of Mongolia).

I will hike in the Gobi desert, ride a horse around Lake Khovsgal (sp again) sleep in a ger and hear some throat singing. I have a tour guide and it will be roughing it moreso than I have done in a while.

Will miss the Olympics, so cheer on team USA for me!!