Silk Road Tour
Aug.14, 2002 To Sept. 2 , 2002

18 August – Sunday – Patty Bonney

One of the addictive aspects of Meli’s tours (besides Meli herself) is how the adventures just keep coming.  She had been lamenting not finding a market, and lo and behold, a black market was just setting up, later than usual because it’s Sunday.  Even so, people found bargains.  We’re promised a return visit tomorrow to have more time.  Meli thought her new coat would be ideal if the weather turns cold tonight
At one stop Cindy rode a yak.  Travel chicken pouted when he missed out of the fun.  When the bus got stuck in the sand, we all disembarked to take action.  Shifting rocks under the wheels was a start.  A team of passing young men provided the necessary oomph to put the bus back on the bumpy and narrow.  Yay!
Since the gers are set up for four temporary Mongolians at a time, we’re having fun sharing with new roommates.  Part of the way in here we noted the resemblance to eastern Oregon and Washington, except for the lack of sagebrush.  Here we can injoy the greenery and trees.  The eastern northwest US similarities disappeared.
Earlier in this forest preserve we stopped near a giant turtle-shaped rock formation.  Travel chicken brought smiles from the shopkeepers’ daughter and her parents.

This afternoon’s adventure began with a yurt visit.  The lady of the ger (the correct term) hospitably ladled yogurt into bowls for us.  With a bit of sugar sprinkled on, it tasted great.  A cup of mare’s milk was passed around, as were a plate of dried curds and another of what was described as a cookie and seemed more like a small brick of faintly sweet fried bread.  She patiently answered the numerous queries and declined when asked if she had any for us.  She prefers living in a ger.  They work twelve hours a day with all their animals.  When asked what she would like to tell us, she replied that she wanted us to look after nature.Paul is an old pro a riding horses. He was ready to head for the hills   until our

driver chased after him.  Some of us are less confident on horses.  At least these horses are comfortably nearer the ground.  I certainly appreciated my guide, a beautiful little girl.  In spite of some misgivings, we all survived.  The adjacent cashmere shop proved irresistible to our veteran shoppers.

Paul and Phil talked the horse owners into letting them take their horses out for a real ride, accompanied by our driver.  They were delighted at the chance to see some especially beautiful areas in the prettiest section of Mongolia we’ve seen yet.

Wendy topped off the evening by bringing glow necklaces and bracelets.  Hilarity erupted as imaginative souls inspired each other with ever more ways to utilize the toys.

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