Saturday, 16 October 2010

Day 5 of the Mongolia Tour (19th of August)

Was not the vegetarian’s idyll. We got wind of plans the day before but as we awoke the wind confirmed those plans to our noses. As it was the Basque man’s birthday our fellow travellers had decided to buy a goat and barbecue it as a present. Fortunately we were not asked to contribute. An unpleasant aroma of singed fur hung around the camp and we were extremely grateful (although a bit aprehensive) that we could go off camel riding for an hour. Getting off the ground was the trickiest bit. Yet again my knee rubbed rather too close to Jenny’s animal’s backside, which had some diarrhoea issues. Avoiding exposure to dead goat we strolled to the river and along it spotting spotty lizards and trying not to step on toads.

Most of the day was spent inside our ger sheltering from the heat and the feast just outside. We could hear the group inviting the locals to join them and cooing over a baby. The meat, we gathered, was not that great - not a surprise to me, judging from all the meat leftovers on previous days. But they were satisfied that it had been a good gesture. One of the goats we’d befriended the day before came bleating wildly and peered into every ger. His snotty nosed friend was no longer accompanying him and we learnt that he’d been killed by the family too. Our sheep Floeckli must count herself lucky that she has survived eight years with a snotty nose.

Once the sun had cooled we walked along the river and to the dunes accompanied by the dog. Nice company, but not the best for wildlife watching. She did however flush a hare from the grass, which couldn’t catch up with. We were boring though – too much bird watching, and we continued up the dunes alone. Since the sun was on its way down we had to turn round and make our way back. We didn’t really fancy getting lost in the desert without a torch. The dog greeted us with great enthusiasm when we got back.

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