A Travellerspoint blog

Mongolia

Dinosaurs

Does a museum have to be big to be interesting?

sunny 30 °C
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This morning we left for the flaming cliffs in the central Gobi. These all kinds of colours cliffs, but mainly red, hence the name where made famous in 1921. When an expedition finally resolved the question whether Dinosaurs are egg laying or life bearing animals.
Around these cliffs the expedition uncovered many dinosaur skeletons, but more importantly lots of eggs. Both of flesh eating dinosaurs, small eggs, and of plant eating dinosaurs, big eggs.
Next to these Grand Canyon like cliffs is a very tiny dinosaur museum in a typical Mongolian ger tent.
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In the afternoon, after we settled ourselves in our 5 star luxury ger tent resort, we drove to vulture canyon. Going up in the mountains the temperature dropped from about 30 °C to a refreshing 18 °C and the surroundings started to get very green.
During our horseback ride in the canyon we saw a lot of wildlife, but as luck would have it no vultures. We did however saw ice! Yes really mid July in the middle of the Gobi ice.
Hereafter we turned back to our ger camp and had a luscious warm shower a meal in an air-conditioned ger and electric sockets in our private ger tents to recharge our camera batteries.
Yes we’re really roughing it out here.

Posted by erodrigo 04:31 Archived in Mongolia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Friday the 13th

Why it’s never a good idea to travel on this day.

all seasons in one day 32 °C
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Yesterday we had a long day drive, 300 km, to reach our first ger camp. These 300 kilometres take about 9 hours going south from Ulaanbataar.
Today we had another long drive to our primitive campsite in the middle off the Gobi, but we made a lovely stop at a now almost dry lake. The lake had shrunk by a lack of rain and of a nearby mining site.
We had a big rain shower on the way to our campsite and were lucky enough to be just a few metres ahead of a mud flood up in a mountain range we crossed. The flood was building up and if we had reached the crossing 5 minutes later we would not have been able to cross the range and would be forced to turn back. We drove through the first waves of the flood and got the hell out of there because there was lots more coming down the mountain.
Other reasons why you should not travel on Friday the 13th: In the morning our car wouldn’t start and in the afternoon we had a blow out of a rear tire.
Almost enough to make you start believe all this nonsense about Friday the 13th.
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Posted by erodrigo 04:27 Archived in Mongolia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Nadam

The annual Mongolian festival

semi-overcast 28 °C
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We saw the archers and wrestlers coming into the stadium in their many coloured traditional outfits. Suddenly a loud eruption of enthusiasm from the local people, finally the very important traditional banners are brought in by proud Mongolian horsemen in parade uniforms.
I’m overwhelmed by the power they radiate and the influence their appearance has on the local people. As if Chinggis Khan himself is marching by just three feet away from you.
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After a lovely vegan menu, yes really, we leave Ulaanbataar in a gigantic traffic jam. It looks like all the 55.000 cars from the city decided to leave the city at the same time and all choose the same two lane street out of the city. What was a two-lane two-direction street quickly becomes a four-lane one-direction street, because everyone wants to see the finish of the race between the 5-year old stallions. The odd car that goes in the opposite direction has stopped trying to reach Ulaanbataar and the people are sitting next to it, looking at this big migration.
This 26 km race is so important because for the stallions it decides if they stay a stallion or become just a horse.
After a lovely meal in a French restaurant, which is owned by the typical arrogant Frenchman, we turned in for the night.

Posted by erodrigo 15:28 Archived in Mongolia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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