21 Days In Mongolia

Day 17:

It was 8.10am and finally time to leave the lake.  3.5 hours back to Moron, along the same bouncy road that we had driven along 3 days earlier.  We stopped just along the road from the camp to pick up some smoked fish we had asked a local man to prepare for us a couple of days earlier.  We reached Moron later in the morning and stocked up on the Pepsi and I had a mars bar and bought some Pringles – things that would never have been found in the shops even a year ago.  Paul bought bread and what vegetables he could.  We were now just trying to use up the supplies before the end of the trip – as it wasn’t just going to be the end of our trip, but also the end of the season. 

Just outside of Moron, on a side of a hill, with kites flying overhead, we ate left over pasta mixed with tuna and sweetcorn and left over hot dogs from the night before.  Everyone was surprised at how good the food had been on the trip.  All of us had been expecting to lose weight on the mutton and noodles diet, but instead, the evening stir fries, spaghetti bolognese, macaroni cheese, potato and cheese gratin, the chilli con carne, vegetable soups, Mongolian meals and one pizza and then all the breakfasts on stop over days which consisted of hash browns, cheese toasties etc and not to count the lunches of cheese, salami, tuna, pate sandwiches always with tomatoes and cucumber, had all added up to mean that most of us were going home heavier than we had arrived, the only disappointing fact of the trip.

The journey after lunch was not too long at all and we arrived in camp at the Selenge River at 4.15pm, sooner than Paul had ever made it.  The last part of the journey from Moron to the river we passed through some beautiful scenery.  Reds, amber and golden hues on the lush green mountains with the larch trees growing on the slopes.  The colours were magnificent and the shapes arising from the peaks and troughs made the transformation from an arduous journey to one steeped in beauty.

Although the lush scenery was a welcome break from what had been flat arid land two weeks before I couldn’t help but think about all of Mongolia being a beautiful place.  Here we had colourful hillsides against a bright blue sky and the green gentle hills with the rivers and streams running through them.

As we had arrived at our camping spot in the late afternoon, it gave us the chance to put our tents up by the river in the warm, although admittedly amongst an onslaught of grasshoppers.  We relaxed in the remaining sunlight and some had a cool beer or soft drink whilst others had a quick dip in the river, before making a start on what turned out to be a 3 course dinner, as always cooked only in the 3 pans we possessed over 3 blow torches.  Using up left over crackers with cheese, olives and mayo based dip, followed by the fantastic smoked trout and roach we had bought, with jacket potatoes and then bread and butter pudding made from the stale bread.

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