So much for the early night we had planned.The Mongolian border guards did not board the train until late and we all had to stay up until they had cleared us through immigration. The result being that we did not get to bed until 12.30 and had planned to get up at 5am in time to get sorted for a 6.28 arrival. In the event we were all dressed up with nowhere to go. The train was an hour later than we had expected it to be..
We were met at the station by the driver from the ger camp. He obligingly took us to a bank that he knew was open - at that time in the morning! - so we were able to change our roubles into togrogs. It was then an hour in the "car" over very bumpy roads - move over Pentland Road! When we got to our ger we were gobsmacked. It is even nicer than in the pictures on the internet. It was roasty toasty with the stove burning in the middle.
Breakfast was at 9.00. It consisted rather strangely of a pot of tea with one tea bag, a mountain of bread which was toasted on one side, slices of spicy sausages and slices of processed cheese plus butter and jam.
John was feeling really grotty with his man cold so the 3 of us set off to climb a hill behind the camp. The scenery is just spectacular. Huge rocks that are worn smooth, jagged crags and wide vistas. The only trees grow on the tops. There is just so much space and so much sky it's hard to take it all in.
Although we didn't get very far we decided we deserved a beer as a reward.
I thought I'd be smart and have a shower before lunch so that I could see what I was doing in daylight.Interesting. Like the good girl I am I went to the Ladies. I sussed out how to turn the water on then took a huge deep breath and took my clothes off. I did have the sense to get the water to the right temperature before stepping in. I waited and shivered and waited and shivered and waited and cried and gave up. I dried my tears and the part of me that was wet with cold water and headed out. One of the staff came in so another opportunity for charades presented itself. I must be getting good at it 'cos she informed me that men were hot and indicated I shower there! OK I can do this so started the whole process again. Obviously hot men in Mongolia get hot water. Shower was great apart from the occasional drenching of icy cold when someone somewhere ran the hot tap. Clean me.
Lunch started with a beautiful thin vegetable soup followed by a salad course. The main course was very lean tough spiced meat in a sauce with homemade chips. Very tasty even if the meat was a bit of a challenge.
We had booked a car with tour guide for the afternoon and were a tad surprised when twenty million (Gross exaggeration, about 8 or 9) young Mongolian staff piled in. It turned out that this was the end of their contract and they were having a fun trip out together. We bumped over the open country to Turtle Rock. Guess why it's called that? It really did look like a turtle.
Donnie and Cath had successful showers if you ignore the sudden deluge of cold water.
We've now had an excellent supper and staggered SOBER in the dark up the slope to our cosy ger. 8.25 and I've finished this blog. What now? Sleep.