I will start with the worst moment of the trip so far!!
You all know about my dodgy radiated innards , well this one is the worst experience yet but it definitely has its funny side. There I am on the Trans Mongolian Express, 24 hours from UB to Irkutz. Sharing a cabin , one toilet between 20 . Decided about 7 am must go, really really must go, trotted down to the loo, locked!!! Approaching a station so the Brunhildes lock the loos. What to do??? Only one thing for it back to my shared cabin, Heather still asleep, root around and find my TipTop container , try to shut the door, no way would not budge, damn hot so all slept with doors open. Luckily yesterday in UB before boarding the train I bought a floaty dress and was wearing it.
Mission accomplished, just had to wait for the loo door to be unlocked before getting rid of the evidence!!! Thank heaven for Tip Top Light Vanilla.
So back to the real highlights of the last five days, driving across endless rolling plains with misty mountains in the distance, large groups of horses happily grazing, watching a stallion being chased by irritated herders as it refused to be penned up with the mares during a mare milking session and on and on. Large herds of goats, now far outnumber sheep because of the price of cashmere, 50$ a kilo versus 60 cents for sheep wool. Cattle are a bit scrawny, sheep a bit scraggy and goats goaty. The horses won my heart with the camels and their twitching humps a close second.
Roads are often atrocious, we drove 15 ks on a dirt track and it took us 45 mins to negotiate it. The Mongolians drive their vehicles the same way they ride horses, very fast. One day we all had to get out and walk a k as it was too steep and rough to risk us in the bus. This was in the way toUgii Lake, a bleak place but the godwits land there!!! Plus locals camp and poop along its edge. The gers are OK but they smell of sheep wool which is to be expected as that is what they are made of.
So four nights in gers(enough) and one on a train, now in a nice hotel in Irkutz.
Oh yes, the monastery at Karakorum was lovely, but only three of hundreds of temples left the Communists destroyed them in the thirties.
K was Ghenghis Khans capital in the 11c. I think if I took up a collection for an assasin I would get enough, the man mentioned earlier is getting close to being roundly abused and not necessarily by me.
And good news the boy who fell of his horse while in the lead at the horse races came in third, I have never seen such a burst of speed.