Sid is not unlike his Aunty Brona- attracted by shiny things.... see turtle rock in the background!
31st July 2010
Ger to Ger
We headed to the local bus stop to get the 11am bus to Terijl National Park. There was a huge push to get on and every seat was snapped up in milliseconds. Sid managed to get his head on the edge of a seat as he ran up the bus stairs and nobody dared squash it, so Sid and I occupied the edge of a bench seat. There were thousands of people on the bus carrying all sorts of interesting things like urns full of yoghurt, giant bottles of berries and sacks full of god knows what. I would have taken a photo only my arms were permanently pinned to the side of my body for the duration of the 2 hour journey.
We got off at ‘Turtle Rock’ which is a huge formation that really does look like a turtle!
The family picked us up and drove us to their ‘Ger’ overlooking Turtle Rock. It was a beautiful sunny day and we sat outside on a bench having lunch. Their little girl, 3 year old Hurse was a chatterbox and babbled constantly whilst running around us. The Mum then produced a giant
Sid and I standing on...
"Old man lying down reading a book"..... his head is behind us. It's hard to see him from this angle!
saw and gestured to the woods, so off we went to collect firewood….. there were lots of loose branches around Hurse laid out the rope and showed us how to place them and tied it up for carrying back home- she was knee high to a grasshopper and tried to lug a giant load of wood behind her, very cute. We were rewarded for our efforts with bowls of sweet creamy home made yoghurt. Sid and I also got the opportunity to milk a cow. I was wondering why he was gently pulling on the teats until he told me it felt like pulling a willy (for those of you who haven’t enjoyed the experience!) I explained that it wouldn’t hurt if he pulled harder and then he had great success. Meanwhile Hurse was busy giving Sid milking directions in Mongolian, chattering away in his ear. The Mum showed us how to cut the ‘milk cakes’ that she had drying on the roof- which tasted a bit like sour cream…. probably an acquired taste.
Later we walked to the other famous rock formation in the park called ‘Old man lying reading a book’ and we took photos holding up his
giant head. It was a good climb up and the views of the park were great. The sun was gone by dinner time and so the family invited us into their warm Ger to have dinner. Hurse followed Sid around as he shifted seats to get away from her and we reminded him that this is what it would be like to have a little sister! He said it was awful ☺ Sid’s front tooth fell out as he was playing outside - well, it went sideways and then he pulled it out the rest of the way. It was an amazing playground for kids. Lots of fields, forest, rocks to climb, as well as horses, cows and goats to chase. We had our own Ger to sleep in that had 4 beds around the edges and Sid made a special place for his tooth at the top of his bed so the tooth fairy would spot his pearly white.
1st August 2010
To the next Ger!
We walked down to Turtle Rock and climbed all over it. We had no idea what time it was and the family gave out to us (we think- they did not
Sid and Hurse carry a saw to the forest to collect wood.
We didn't actually use it in the end, much to Sid's disappointment.
look happy, were gesturing a lot and pointing at their watches) when we got back. It was 1.15pm and we were supposed to leave on the horses at 1pm and we had yet to have lunch….. Nigel just pointed to his empty wrist to show he had no watch and apologised- oops. We were saddled up and ready to go at 2pm. Sid went of the horse with the Dad of the house. The Mum packed off her daughter to the neighbour and rode on another horse with our rucksack, and Nigel and I had our own horses. Mongolian horses are very small but very strong. The locals gallop around standing in their stirrups, they hold the reigns in one hand and nobody does a rising trot, so it was a very alien feeling being on a Mongolian horse. We travelled through the countryside for 15-20kms stopping a couple of time to have a cup of tea in their mate’s Ger to give the horses a rest…. arriving at our new Ger at 6pm. Our first impressions were not great as there didn’t seem to be a separate Ger for us. We were led into a Ger that had 2
Bless her cotton socks!
Hurse tries to lug the firewood home.... faster dammit!!!!!
couches and a bed and we were left to our own devices for a few hours. We walked to see the river that was right beside the Ger camp and they also had 2 eagles and a falcon, horses, sheep and goats.
It was dark at 9pm and a long time since our last meal by the time dinner was served. We finished, brushed Sid’s teeth and got him ready for bed. Three guys walked in then and started playing cards. Nigel and I were a bit confused about the sleeping arrangements and when one guy started smoking I lost it. I asked for his phone and called the hostel and asked him what was going on. He told me that I hadn’t signed up for a luxury tour and that we would be sharing with a nomadic family. I was under no illusion that we were on a luxury package knowing we would be peeing in the field and washing in the river, but for $90 a night we at least expected our own room. We were supposed to spend 2 nights in this Ger, but we asked if we could go back to the friendly family of
the previous night but they were booked up, so we decided to catch the bus back the next morning. Meanwhile the guys had pulled out the couch to make a grubby small sofa bed for the 3 of us and one guy had settled into the other couch and another on the single bed. The third guy, took a blanket and slept outside- in the rain….. not really what we had signed up for! It was a real shame since the first family had been fantastic and we had felt very welcome…. The second Ger just felt like we were turfing them out of their own beds, which in fact, we were!
2nd August 2010
Back to UB…. Again
We got the 8.45am bus back to UB. We went straight to the West Hostel and booked in for the night. We had something to eat and then I took Sid to see Shrek-4 in 3D while Nigel went off to rent a tent for tomorrow. On the way back from the cinema Sid and I stopped at a toy shop to spend his toothfairy money. He bought a pack of 5 racing cars and I bought a Shrek
Hurse licks the yoghurt off her spoon...
She ate it like it was a bowl of the yummiest chocolate.... it wasn't :)
Monopoly Junior set for our long train journeys ahead. It doesn’t take up much space when you abandon the box!
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