Welcome to Mongolia

Trip Start Nov 01, 2011
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Trip End Nov 01, 2012


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Sunday, August 19, 2012

We arrived in to Ulan Bataar (UB) in mid-afternoon shattered from the train and the late night border crossings. We had initially planned to rent a 4x4 to see the country but when we learnt that there are no roads, no sign posts and no English spoken outside of UB, that all seemed a little scary, especially considering I have been known to get lost coming home from the supermarket.

Instead, we hoped to meet some other people looking to do a similar trip and share the cost of hiring a van with a driver.

We had a stroke of luck on our first evening meeting a group of people who had done all the work, renting equipment, driver and van. The 7 of us then arranged to meet very early the next morning to spend the day buying supplies for the 20 day camping trip.

The group consisted of Myself and Charlie, our Mongolian driver Dawa and 4 other single travelers –

Amit – Just finished 4.5 years as an officer in the Isreali army. Very organized and obviously planned most of the trip and called the shots.

Jo – A horse loving Argentinian Engineer traveling Central Asia who coined the trips key catchphrase "I am sooooo suffering"

Jen – A no nonsense girl from Seattle, who Charlie and I agreed may be the toughest girl we have ever met, tackling the sub zero temperatures of the Mongolian night with no sleeping mat and a sleeping bag resembling a dish cloth.

Niels – The most knowledgeable 20 year old Charlie and I have ever met. The young Dane finally admitted his knowledge comes from his lifetime goal being “to know everything”.

After we had all our supplies we set off South only driving a few hours before setting up camp.

The first night was a complete disaster as after 1am it felt like an episode of BBC's Frozen Planet. Jo and Jen had a serious conversation that there was a possibility of death during the night and 3 of the 6 (including Charlie and I) wanted to abandon the trip after less than 24 hours.
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