21 Days In Mongolia

Day 9:

We slept late today as it was a free day to explore the area and there was no driving to be done.  I actually woke up a couple of times but actually finally rose at about 9.30am.  Andy brought me breakfast in bed – muesli.  When we were both finally up and dressed and had made sure the washing we had put out the night before was still firmly attached to the lines hanging between the trees, we noted the route we were going to take up through and over the rocky cliffs.  We packed our bags with supplies, so that we wouldn’t get hungry up in the rocks and then set off.  I really enjoyed the climb but soon realised that I am much better ascending than descending.  Once we had actually managed to climb on the rocks and had ascended some way, we could see 4 of the others high up above us, but they were stuck and seemed to be unable to ascend any higher.  Claire and Ed started to descend as Claire was unable to go any further and the four of us tried to find a different route over the edge, but to no avail – we just couldn’t do it. Several attempts and several routes later, Claire and Ed went a separate way and left Andy and I to it. Andy and I enjoyed being on our own up in the cliffs in the quiet. The trip hadn’t given us ample opportunity to be together in the day time and we spent a lovely day, slowly meandering through the rocks, although occasionally we encountered large boulders that had to be climbed over and very often we came face to face with very large spiders that had spun their webs between the rock faces. What usually happened however was that I became entangled in the web and felt the large silk like threads in my hair and face, which made me swing my arms around and scream, before any spider came running. 

Andy and I eventually ended up coming down the way we had ascended and were the first back to camp. The chocolate we had left in the tent had melted so we revitalised ourselves by eating melted chocolate with a spoon. Although we hadn’t made it to the summit, Dee, Linda, Daniella and Antoinette did – almost.  Andy and I had cracked lips and a saw nose, no amount of moisturiser seemed to work. Andy also developed the squits later in the day.  We ended up tidying our bags again – it was quite a luxury to have time to do this stuff and after looking at the washing, it actually looked dirtier than it had to begin with!

Once a few others had returned, I opened up our pack of trivia questions and Katherine, myself, Davey and Agnes spent a good couple of hours playing the trivia quiz, later joined by a few others.  At dusk, the drivers decided to climb the cliffs behind us. What had taken us hours to climb, the drivers accomplished in about an hour. On their return, they also brought back onions they had picked.  Andy and I had seen them earlier and thought they were flowers.

Dinner was good and we went to bed later that evening, warm and full.  I noted that as we were just under half way through the trip, the group had bonded really well, especially as there were 15 of us and 12 of them women!

Day: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - epi