As per fucking usual in Mongolia, my already tentative grasp on reality becomes ever-looser with each passing vodka shot, failed conversation, and moment of solitude. But nobody wants to hear about that, you want to hear about fun stuff, stuff you can relate to, stuff that puts a smile on your dial!
Well, wrong blog.
In the weeks since the last of these nonsensical literary ejaculations, Mongolia somehow turned even crazier. With the weather rapidly descending into recklessly irresponsible levels of cold, we plunged ourselves into the Altai Mountains to complete our long-held ambition of becoming professional ice-cubes and spend a few days staring, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, at the stupidly majestic Golden Eagle Hunters who accumulated in Olgii to show off how stupidly majestic they are. We also took a 40 hour bus ride, broke the ice of a frozen volcano crater with boulders, and consumed more seemingly indigestible mammalian body parts.
The appalling lack of lists, rankings or other quantifiable measurements of how much fun I’m having in previous posts means I can’t yet call myself a proper travel blogger. In my desperation to attain this prestigious title, I present you all with an insightful statistical analysis of our time in Mongolia:
4 / 5
Four of My Top 5 Worst Sleeps Ever© can be attributed to the Great Mongol Nation. Most of them were in vehicles of some kind, but one was in a tent. The only exception is Australian in nature, the story of which can be requested in person, as it requires a degree of exaggeration and hand gestures that are not easily conveyed in print.
Percentage of Mongolian roads that are paved. The capital, Ulaanbaatar, is paved. Several regional centres (aimags) have their main streets paved. A handful of arterial roads from UB to some of the larger towns are partially paved. Elsewhere, road is a loose description, referring to any route across the land that doesn’t involve literally driving through a tree or camel.
Percentage of different goat/sheep body parts consumed. Apparently a gesture of goodwill from a host in Mongolia, several of the families we stayed with butchered goats and sheep for us. The first meal is always the innards, including boiled blood, intestines stuffed with fat, stomach (I.e. All the best bits), as well as the whole head. In addition to going all Hannibal Lecter on the poor goat, Hannah and I were presented with an ear each, in the hope that we would listen to each other. Lovely people, the Mongolians, but startlingly naïve if they think that’s going to work.
-15 degrees Celsius
Camping conditions in western Mongolia. Stupid fucking decision really. Required two sleeping bags each and all of our available clothing on just to not die. Coincided with a serious case of the shits, which was an experience I do not need again in a hurry.
3000m above sea-level
This distance above sea-level is too high above sea-level to comfortably sleep in a small canvas house.
Length of time taken to completely free my clothing of the yellowing pine needles Hannah thought it would be fun to throw on me during one of her certified Being a Dickhead Due to Boredom phases.
And finally, Camel Racing (I am aware this is not a recognised statistical measure)
Probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever witnessed. The organisers were evidently stuck for something to fill a time slot, and, presumably after a few bottles of vodka, cast their eyes around for the creatures least suited to high-octane, high-speed competition and decided, of course, that those misshapen quadrupeds with the enormous feet and perpetually stoned look in their eyes would make perfect racing stock.
After barely surviving a Mongolian autumn, we thought why not try a Russian winter? At least we’ll be on a train and not on a horse. After that we’ll be in Europe and broke, so it’s about now that this begins it’s transition from travel blog to plea for donations of a financial nature.