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

17 August – Saturday – Phil Hooper
  Paul Hooper

Food – Standard meal is past 2 days meat (beef), rice, potato, instant coffee.  At dinner drank mare’s milk (Eriq), followed by “vodka” (Erkh) which is distilled, fermented yogurt.

Custom : Children cook meals- starting as young as 6 years old; parents do not cook.
Land – In past no private ownership- soon where your house is will become your private land- After fall of 2002 will have to pay for land- but still will have open grazing- no fences.
Animals – saw no wild horses; horses have many descriptions including based on age, teeth, color, etc; saw yak – big hairy dog look; - 2 hump camels, sheep, goats & a few dogs.
Visit to temple – monks chanting, burning incense – quite friendly – allowed to walk around.  The public approach a monk with a problem – the monk refers to a text, which is one long sentence in a collection of metal prayer pages – he writes down the prayer – the rest of the day other monks chant that prayer for the person.  Buddhism – kindness, no anger, no stealing, acceptance, monogamy.  Al asked monk to advice to him – response was “each individual should find his/her own path in life.”  Carol invited to join ceremony of scarf sharing – occurred when chanting & bell ringing & drum beating hit a peak.  Paul went for a jog in the woods/mountain got stinging nettle on his leg. _ Local person had him drink fresh mare’s milk and pour over stinging area.
Bus is hot; opens doors when driving; driver left parking break on & smoked up bus – had to stop.
Private show after dinner – 13 piece orchestra; contortionist; throat singer; Native American-like (Kachina-like) drum dance.
Politics – positive toward Russia – freedom from old enemies – China & Japan- comfortable with communism – never had private land ownership.  Ger = yurt=home/
Mongolia is a big hit – we loved today – but winter temp gets to –90F.  People move ger from summer to winter spot – mostly to get out of wind.  If today the best of the trip – then whole trip worth it.

  Back to Melitour home page    next page