Ulaanbaatar and a week with a local family

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August 6th 2009
Published: August 6th 2009
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You may be thinking I've been kind of quiet lately. Well there's a pretty good reason for that : I've been out of town... And by out of town I mean "Outer Mongolia" !
After arriving in Ulaanbaatar (UB for those in the know) and spending a couple of days with Sabina my CS host seeing the sights (there are only a few, and even then, I'm counting the Beatles tribute monument as one) the Mongolian fun really begun. Sabina was kind enough to introduce me to some friends of hers (and for this I am truly grateful) who live about an hour's drive away from UB. They live, together with another family, in a group of 5 gers (traditional Mongolian tents/yurts). Their settlement is rather isolated, in the middle of a vast valley where the cattle grazes freely. I spent a week with these lovely people, trying as best I could to be helpful (communication was difficult and consisted almost exclusively of sign language). I got to do quite a bit of riding (though I must say the Mongolian saddles I find particularly uncomfortable), herding cattle back to the camp for milking, and for a nice trip up into the mountains with amazing views into the various surrounding valleys. No electricity or water at the camp, so the day started with sunrise and ended with sunset, and regular trips to a nearby well were made with a jeep and a water-tank trailer.
All in all, it's been an incredible week with truly incredible people, rough and hardened by the lifestyle, yet incredibly friendly and welcoming. I couldn't imagine anything that could have contrasted more with a regular working week back in Paris.
Now back in UB, I have a couple of days left before my train to Beijing to check out the Natural History Museum which Sabina recommends.
Hope you like the pics.

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6th August 2009

O.K. Sam,I suppose someone has to ask the question. Why the Beatles monument in Ulaanbaatar?

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