Me-go: Around-the-World

The Gobi, Not So Hot


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I’m back from my Great Gobi adventure and, well, now I can say I’ve seen The Gobi. I would definately reccommend the trip to the lakes over The Gobi by far. It wasn’t the heat (it rained six out of seven days in the desert) but the absolute boredom of staring at nearly the exact same landscape for a week. Around the lakes you might drive over a mountain pass and see a cute little white ger nestled in a valley with horses in the foreground and a herder in a traditional ger. In the desert we saw few cars besides other tourists and even the one city we stayed in didn’t have electricity when we were there. Our driver did not speak one word of English this time (not even “hello”) whereas our last driver actually became our friend—one night I caught him teaching throat singing to the other American.

When we arrived in Ulaan Baatar we discovered everyone scrambling to get things finished before the Naadam Festival. A new jumbo screen has been installed on a bulding near the square and every other building is getting a fresh coat of paint. In last week’s English language paper the government claimed it will be finished with it’s new construction project in front of parliment at the top of the square but it’s not close and we’re only a day away. After securing a bed for the night I got a shower and discovered that spots that I thought were bruises were actually dirt! I have yet to wash my clothes so I remain smelly, but I got a grilled cheese, tomato and mushroom sandwich and fries in me last night to counteract all that noodle soup and hard fried dough we were served in the desert. The food wasn’t horrible overall, there was only one night in which we deemed the food inedible–when we were served some sort of purple-colored organ meat.

I will spend the next week relaxing, working on photos and watching some archery. Naadam is technically the 11-13th but this year they have extra events on the 10th because it is the 800th anniversary.