The facilities
The facilities

My unfortunately timed bout with food poisoning (it started on day 1) continued into the third day but I was feeling much better overall. Making bathroom runs to the outhouse some 100 yards out into the steppe at 3AM when it is below freezing is quite the experience. Especially on breezy nights like the one we had last night.  That said, there is an upside. Combine a door/roofless outhouse with a stiff breeze and you have got yourself a smell-free bathroom trip with one heck of a view!

Main street Dalanzadgad
Main street Dalanzadgad

Around 1:30 today we stopped in the town of ДАЛАНЗАДГАД (Dalanzadgad) for shopping, lunch and, most importantly, showers! This time the shopping facilities were much more western we even got to partake in a form of transportation that I didn’t think we would see for many days: an escalator! Dalanzadgad is the capital of the Gobi aimag (province) and has a whopping 14,000 residents!

Dust. This has been one of the biggest hardships thus far on the tour. Shortly after we loaded up in the minivan on day one I noticed that most of the interior seams as well as the rear windows were sealed with either duct tape or packing tape. As it turns out, the tape had been put there to curb the amount of dust constantly trying to invade the back of the vehicle. I’d hate to see how bad it is without the tape because it is pretty horrendous as is. Here is an example of what our bags looks like at the end of a day’s driving.

This photo shows how dusty it was inside the van after a day on the steppe. That is my blue backpack in the center.
This photo shows how dusty it was inside the van after a day on the steppe. That is my blue backpack in the center.

The dust was actually making it pretty hard to breathe and most of spent some time hacking and coughing each day so far. Thanks to the Chinese population it is actually quite easy to find face masks in the towns so we picked some of those up during the lunch stop. I’m sure we look like right idiots but it was certainly an upgrade from my underwear bandit look from earlier in the day (undershirt wrapped around the face!).

One solution to the dust problem
One solution to the dust problem

Anyhow, the shower stalls at the public bathhouse were squeaky clean and the hot water was plentiful. Washing off what felt like a pound of dust/dung, shaving, and quickly doing some laundry in the running water was unbelievably indulgent. This is what happens when you haven’t seen running water in 3 days!

A short 90 minute drive from the town took us to the entrance gate to Yolyn Am, a park that has a valley with ice year-round. Well, it is supposed to be year-round but it recent years most of it has melted away by mid-summer. There were still small patches of ice to be found but it wasn’t the meter-thick slab that we were expecting. It was about a 6km roundtrip hike into the valley and we were a bit disappointed that we arrived so late in the day. The sun was setting (and the temperature plummeting) when we were on the walk in. Wildlife spotted inside the canyon included some vultures, thousands of small rodent looking creatures, a lone bat and a few smaller birds.

Minivan odometer: 752km (251km today)

Mongolia Tour Days 1-3
Walking around a ovoo (cairn) for good luck.  Three times around with it on your right.
Walking around a ovoo (cairn) for good luck. Three times around with it on your right.
All sorts of interesting offerings on the ovoo: skulls, cash and vodka bottles to name a few.
All sorts of interesting offerings on the ovoo: skulls, cash and vodka bottles to name a few.
We found camels!
We found camels!
The first camels of our RTW trip
The first camels of our RTW trip
High five!
High five!
Ultzi fishing some water out of the magic rock
Ultzi fishing some water out of the magic rock
This is supposed to make your eyesight better
This is supposed to make your eyesight better
Home sweet home
Home sweet home
This ger came with a guard dog
This ger came with a guard dog
Hospital, orphanage, or shopping mall?
Hospital, orphanage, or shopping mall?
Lunch on day 2: our first ger cafe
Lunch on day 2: our first ger cafe
Mongolian truck stop
Mongolian truck stop
This photo shows how dusty it was inside the van after a day on the steppe. That is my blue backpack in the center.
This photo shows how dusty it was inside the van after a day on the steppe. That is my blue backpack in the center.
Camels like to shake their lips
Camels like to shake their lips
and wag their tails (nonstop)
and wag their tails (nonstop)
and roll in the dust
and roll in the dust
The facilities
The facilities
Watching for the herd to come home.
Watching for the herd to come home.
I'm not quite sure why this young camel was so shaggy.
I’m not quite sure why this young camel was so shaggy.
A very playful kid at the ger camp
A very playful kid at the ger camp
Herding home the goats and sheep by motorcycle
Herding home the goats and sheep by motorcycle
Our driver in his never-ending battle against the dust
Our driver in his never-ending battle against the dust
Quality Mongolian bed
Quality Mongolian bed
One solution to the dust problem
One solution to the dust problem
Main street Dalanzadgad
Main street Dalanzadgad
Why look, it is a stein of lipton tea!
Why look, it is a stein of lipton tea!
Public baths in Dalanzadgad
Public baths in Dalanzadgad
A welcome change of scene - mountains!
A welcome change of scene – mountains!
Just a little ice
Just a little ice

3 Responses to “Mongolia Tour Day 3”

  1. You had to take a picture of the sunset between the camel humps? =)

    Mongolia looks quite challenging and there’s certainly not much around…

    • Yeah, I couldn’t resist taking that one. I guess I should have featured it in the post…lots of people seem to have gotten a kick out of that one. Mongolia is a tough one for travel but it is certainly a fascinating and wonderful destination.

  2. Some great photos in that collection…especially like the sun between the humps. The adventure sounds…uh…interesting!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

© 2011-2012 RoamingRyan.com Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha