Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9: To the countryside

Our day started at 9am and four of us got into a mini SUV   After we loaded the bags we barely fit into the car.  Then off to the market for water and snacks.  Not sure where we would put that??

Our ride was mainly on pavement for the first six hours and that was the halfway mark.  Only 200 km in six hours.  Then onto a dirt road for the next six-and-a half hours. The amazing driving skills of our host Nassa took us through the gigantic potholes and gullies with great safety.   We arrived in Binder Soum in darkness and checked into our one-room hotel.  We had dumplings and settled in.  Our room has four beds and Ken, Mongo (our young female interpreter), and I all went to sleep.  My internal clock has still not been reset so in the middle of the night I had to get up and find the outdoor toilet.  Our plank style toilet was not a great site… more about that at another time.

What we saw along the way:  The largest Chinggis Khan monument outside of UB.  Some villages and gers, The dirt road that went on forever.  Ran into an unusual cultivated field of rapeseed growing and had to take the shot (which I'll add when I get better Internet access back in UB) as it was in such contrast to the rest of the landscape  and quite striking to look at.  And my first brilliant sunset under the biggest sky I have ever seen.  Could not capture the stars, but they were breathtaking….

--Bruno Dragani

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