Well, we made it through our first night very cold. Very, very cold. The fire in our stove went out about 2 hours after we went to bed and it got progressively colder. Lynn stole blankets from another bed and used her handkerchief to cover her chilly nose. Doug just didn’t sleep. At sunrise Yadmaa came in and started our fire up again using a blowtorch and soon enough we were back to being warm, but still sleep deprived.
At around 8 Davasuren brought us breakfast consisting of lamb stew and with our bellies full we took off for another hike up a hill opposite of the one we conquered yesterday. We were lucky enough to have one of the adorable family dogs escort us part of the way. Up and up we went up steep inclines. We plateaued and decided we hadn’t had enough so up we continued to go until we reached the highest peak and were able to see a few mountain ranges in the distance. It was beautiful and well worth the 2.5 hour effort. We scaled our way back down the hill for lunch which consisted of a plate of lamb and potatoes both of which were cooked in fat. We had yet to be sick of the meals because they were all so delicious, even if they weren’t healthy in the slightest.
After lunch, Yadmaa took us on a horse trek up through the hills and into the mountains. Davaa, our driver, told us that this area is known for its pine trees which brings pickers in search of pine nuts. And lo’ and behold we came across a group on our trek. We also paused a bit while Yadmaa helped two other horsemen herd their cattle. The forest was amazing and being on horseback gave us an even different perspective of the scenery that had surrounded us for the past two days.
After our trek we at more lamb stew for dinner and set up our stools outside to watch the sunset. During this time we also observed the horsemen herding the sheep, cows, and yaks home for the night. There ended up being one stray cow so Doug thought he would help and managed to get the cow in the pen in a manner of minutes. We think he has a new career option.
At night we decided that we were no good at being Mongolian herders simply because we could not get the fire to a good state. Instead it was either too hot, the ger was like a sauna that forced us outside for multiple minutes, or too cold and shivers were had. Despite this we quickly fell asleep due to exhaustion from all the day’s activities.
Daily Walking Mileage: 12
- Yaks like to roll onto their backs and scoot around to scratch it like puppies, at least we observed one doing so.
- It’s tradition that Mongolian boys don’t have their hair cut until the age of 3. We made the mistake of asking if the young girl was their daughter… Oops.