Post # 124 70km east Erdenesant

Day 156 575 days to go. Distance today 73km yesterday 91km total 8453km. It’s 9pm Friday 4/5/2012 70km east Erdenesant. Im sitting in front of the tent at our campsite looking out at the nearly full moon and the first evening star. Twilight lasts for about an hour so I can still still see out over the grassy plains and hills down into the valley where there’s a river. The summer grass is starting to peep through the brown of winter across the hills the plains. Makes for very happy cows, sheep, horses, goats, birds and marmots (ground squirrels). Our campsite is by the ger where we stopped and asked if we could pitch our tent which they generously obliged. They have shared their store of water and have just brought us some of their dinner which is noodles and cooked lamb and onions. We exchanged it for some noodles and bars and candy. It’s a husband and wife about 60 years old and their son lives in another ger about 100m away. He tends to the herd while the father looks on and checks all is good. They have 4 dogs I have nicknamed Mrs, Mr, Grandad and baby Marley as their thick coats are shedding and matted in the best dreads. The dogs have dined on sheeps heads and our left overs so very happy puppies. Kang said that Mongolian dogs are ‘all bark no bite’ and so far he’s been spot on yay!! Dogs here are built for the wild conditions my waist height and weight. There are so many birds mostly tweet tweet birds so active in the grass plains. Yesterday we camped at a ger where Kang stayed last year . He was so happy to see the family still lived there. I saw a mated pair of blue grey cranes and one was jumping and flapping his wings dancing. Their call is unique and distinct. I saw a craven bludgeon a pigeon in mid flight then take it to the ground to de-feather and devour it. I also saw a marmot no bigger than a squirrel come out of its hole, check me out and scamper about a bit before disappearing safe into his borrow. The lady from the ger has just come out and is enjoying watching me type and telling me a story about the dogs and sheep. She is so friendly with a weathered but happy face and beautiful smile. She keeps muttering Mongolian all the while sounding more like amazement than anything and always smiling. Their skin is so weathered but they look really healthy and happy. And no wonder. This place is beautiful, it’s wild and such an expanse of grass and hills and nothing much elseness. Pure raw and wondrous beauty. It was great meeting the family last night that Kang had stayed with last year. I played kicking shuttle cock with the children christening the one I bought in Beijing.  I also got to ride one of their horses. The man has won a place at the Nadaam festival the last years and has photos of his win on the wall of the ger pride of place. They loved sharing the photos kang took last year. Rural folk here must be so tought living simply as they do in the harshest of winter and summer conditions. Gers are a wooden frame round structure with wool lining and a marquee cover and hard padded door. Inside the are a simple affair of beds and some cupboard space with a cast iron cooker and chimney to let out the smoke from the burning animal dung. Gers all face the south to protect the entrance from the wicked northerly that blows. The man last night told us to pitch our tent the same. They served us a bowl of fresh cow’s milk yogurt when we arrived and left this morning. They also gave us a bowl of cow’s milk to heat up and have with coffee. It made the best latte that even my poppy would be happy with (x) On dusk it gets very cold quick and a chill bill breeze blows up. We’ve cycled headwinds over the two days and long ascents. It’s been tough cycling particularly given the month off from anything too much but I’ve loved every moment. We’re at about 1200m. I feel like there’s so much to share so tonight’s just a snippet and start to a wonderful journey ahead. Besides he hills and headwind we’re also battling the heat-Can you believe it? I am so prepared for a change in weather but will be very happy if it never comes!! Tomorrow’s another day!! Talk soon x


Published by shecyclesolo

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

One thought on “Post # 124 70km east Erdenesant

  1. Hi guys,
    Is that a squat bucket outside your tent? !!
    The landscape is so vast and monotone, so empty. Reading your blog puts that one straight though…. great to see how full of life it really is. What a contrast the inside of the Ger is, everything is so cosy and colourful. Do they paint the furnishings themselves……can you tell me why most nomadic tents are circular?
    It’s so exciting, keep that smile coming. Love it and love from us

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