The bluest sky on earth, and no one around!
We were not really all that alone, as we had the ger camp nearby. First thought this morning: “Yay! We are in Mongolia!” The second: “Ouch. Where is the bush toilet in this flat landscape with all the curious people around and no darkness to hide in?”
We shared our first camp in Mongolia with our Russian helper and his girlfriend and dog as well as the Swiss couple. On the photo, only us and the Russians. And the dog asking for breakfast.
Tarmac! Who would have thought! First camels we saw in Mongolia
Olgii, first city. We were told on the border that they had a disease here (the plague that is still active in Mongolia, we believe), so we did not stop, but we did get a phone signal when going through the city! (In other words, most of the time we do not have a phone signal)
No more tarmac after Olgii, but they were making a new road (so if you visit Mongolia in a year or two, there will be more good roads than we had!) , and we were going on and off the new road where we could. Which road to choose? They were all going the same way, so it was only a matter of finding the best one
Looking for a lunch camp on top of a hill. We met some other cars and trucks, but not very many
Roads changed, first to soft sand that made a lot of dust whirl up, and then to a washboard that you could in fact do in 80 km/h, as we were climbing again to above 2600m. On the top we met an English couple who had been traveling since January.
On the top, a man showing a golden eagle, for hunting. Had to do a bit of splashing in the puddles. We met two busses!
Coming back down we met the disease control guards. Both us and cars had to be disinfected, with foot wash, mouth wash and washing the tires (we are still feeling fine, so we believe that we did not not catch anything while in the infected area)
We started to see more and more ger camps, and cars bringing horses. It’s Naadam tomorrow, the Mongol festival when they compete with horses and wrestling and archery. Since the festival was canceled in the Olgii area due to the outbreak of the disease that nobody wanted to name, it seemed they were gathering just outside the infected area. Some more drunk than others..
We kept going to find a camp for the night – preferably a bit away and hidden from the Naadam party. Found a nice place along a river, but too much mosquitos. We continued, and found another place on top of a hill, hidden away and no one else in sight! On the way up, Tim needed some help getting out of a gully
Absolutely horrible rain storm came upon us, and the strength of it was totally unexpected! We had to fight with the storm for a long time before it calmed down, and we could enjoy our sparkling wine, saved for Mongolia!
See all plus additional images from this day. Click to see a larger image and slide show