Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First impressions.

What a magical place. After arriving in UB and being allocated straight away our accomodation we have been able to settle in really quickly. And the flat we have is great. Everything you could need, with a small market by the road outside.

On Sunday we were taken on a trip to the "country". In fact to Manzushir Monstry. Nothing prepares you for the scenery. No fences, hedges, trees.....none, just green, rolling hills. The dry air makes for very sharp boundaries between the succesive ranges of hills.

On the journey to the monastery, we stopped at a cairn surrounding a pole of blue ribbons. Blue is the Mongolian colour of preference…mine too. The idea is to circle the cairn three times in a clockwise direction for past, present and future, throwing a stone at the end of each circuit and then make a wish. I am sure we did it all wrong, but, hey, we have two years to get it right!!

This handsome fellow is especially for Chris M, Chris F and Dylan. I have to say; their affection for the yak is seriously misplaced. Terrible hygiene, lousy dress sense and bad tempered to boot!

Lunch was taken at a ger camp not far the monastery gate. The facilities were excellent with modern showers and toilets. The guests stay in a traditional ger and the right to roam is not an issue. No fences, no landowners but you would need GPS. The grass covering the low hills is surprisingly sparse and course, the ground being strewn with small rocks. And watch out for the marmot holes, they are everywhere.
Not that we stayed but this made a good photo opportunity.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

We have arrived!

Just arrived in UB. Interesting jouney which ended with a clap from the passengers when the T 154 touched down at Ghenkis Khaan airport. What a place. The steppes are so different. Absolutely no hedges or fences and isolated gers on the slopes. Looks magical. Watch this space for pictures.

Five weeks of in-country training starts on Monday but the weekend is ours to recover!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Six days and counting!

Today is Saturday.....the Saturday before the Friday we fly from Heathrow. And no tickets yet. Not that I am concerned you understand,.... no, not me!!! And after the terrorist alerts this week at UK airports, we are going to have to re-think our packing policy. No hand luggage. Everything has to be checked in.

But apart from these minor inconveniences we are both really ready to go now. The bungalow was rented out last week and we are now staying this final week on the island with my daughter, Polly, and her fiance, Karim. We are all going out for a posh nosh this evening as a a way of saying thank you for letting us stay at theirs and as a departure celibration.

Roll on Friday!!!!!!