After returning from the Gobi, we thought we deserved a few days of as many showers as we pleased. We moved from a sketchy hostel to a nice hostel where many proper showers were had. After five days, we set out on another tour—this time to Central Mongolia and this time for only 4 days and 3 nights, just the two of us. I know what you are thinking... how romantic.
Well, it was much too cold and rustic to be romantic. Temperatures dropped during the night and sleeping in separate beds in a ger in 30 degrees gets less romantic with every shiver. There were nevertheless, some really great moments. I'm splitting the tour into two posts and here are the first two days.
The good news was the majority of the driving was on paved road, which is a novelty here in Mongolia and we had the whole van to ourselves. The first day was primarily all driving and our destination was the Erdene Zuu Monastery in the ancient city of Karakorum. Unfortunately we arrived just before closing, so we didn't have much time to roam for photo sake. We stayed the night at a ger camp instead of with a nomadic family which meant toilets! Another novelty! We had enough firewood to warm up the ger for falling asleep, but come 3am we were missing that Gobi Desert weather. The following day we headed to "Mini Gobi." The sand dunes were much smaller than the ones we had just visited, but also much less windy which made for a pleasant walk and the ability to take photos! This night we stayed with a nomadic family and stayed in a ger where we had little toads jumping around and I spotted another mouse. Rick thinks my imagination got the best of me and that I just saw a toad, but I know what I saw. This time at least, we could share a bed so I slept easier knowing I could wake him up at any sound. We put our packs down and headed to the dunes and checked out the surrounding area. Since we were such camel riding experts at this point, we went for round 2. I decided not to take my camera with me this time and to just take in the view. The major difference between the last camel ride and this one was here we actually went through and dunes. The camels brought us to the top and the late afternoon light was magical. After we dismounted, we decided to go back to the dunes, cameras in hand to capture that nice evening sand glow. As the sun was setting and the clouds were rolling in, we spotted some very colorful sunset rain. Call Prince. It's Purple Rain. So a very colorful ending to day 2 of 4.