A few thousand miles of train fun later, we arrived in Mongolia.
Home for the next few days was a traditional ger (tent) - a third of the Mongolian population still choose to live in them. We got well into the nomadic lifestyle with archery and horse riding across the plains. Evenings were spent gambling with wolves’ ankle bones and discussing decades of Soviet oppression. We're so intellectual these days.
Walking into strangers’ gers is the done thing in Mongolia so we visited a family headed by a woman who spent most of the afternoon throwing dung at animals. We gave them the wonderful gift of an Aussie cricket hat in exchange for some tea made from salt. Mmm. We did get to stroke a one-day-old calf, though, and fuss a non-rabid dog.
The Mongolians reckon Chinggis Khan would give Chuck Norris a run for his money. The National Museum states that in the big fight of 1281 he killed 1,728,000 people in one hour. Even more impressively, he apparently fathered 1 in 4 children in the world that year. Busy man.
Back in Ulaan Baatar, Mark’s ninja senses let him down when he failed to
foresee an attempted pick pocketing of Jo’s bag. Luckily she was hanging out with Dr John who chased away the 12-year-old scamp before he could steal her lip gloss.
Back on the train to Siberia we saw forest fires burning for miles at a time. Luckily there are no koalas here so we didn’t worry too much.
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