The Gobi – Day 3 (Part 2)

*This post is a bit delayed… It’s been sitting in the draft box for over a month, waiting for me to just add the pictures. I finally got around to it… Day four will not take as long, I promise!!*

After exploring the Flaming Cliffs, we packed back into the van (a la Little Miss Sunshine!!) and headed off for our next destination. We drove away from the cliffs towards snow capped mountains. The mountains seemed to come out of no where. They were quite the sight to see.

Hiking through the mountains in the Gobi

Hiking through the mountains in the Gobi

Day three was a lucky day for us – we did more than “Just drive”. Most days when we asked our tour guide what we were going to do that day we got the response “Just drive”. As Jeff mentioned in the last post, despite the fact that we spent so much time in the van, the ever changing landscapes helped to keep things interesting. The snow capped mountains were quite the treat.

We dropped our stuff off at the ger where we would be staying for the night and drove into the national park. Our three days of sitting idly (aside from me pulling out the knitting occasionally) in the van meant that hiking wasn’t as easy as it should have been. It wasn’t hard by any stretch of the imagination, but I definitely felt that the hours in the van (and all that snacking) were taking a toll on my body!

Like our standardized hats?

Like our matching hats?

We unloaded from the van and put on all our warm clothing – we were told it was going to be cold! As we hiked along we saw vultures, a fox, lots of  gopher-like creatures, and beautiful mountains. We walked along a stream that was winding between mountain ranges. Along our trek we came upon some more ovoos. We picked up the stones and gave honor to the god of the sky. After travelling in the Gobi I can totally understand why Mongolians humble themselves before the god of the sky. Be it during the day or at night the sky in Mongolia is truly amazing.

The stream was almost frozen, but we could see a bit of the water under the ice.

On our way back we met up with some Mongolians who we had seen drinking vodka in the parking lot as we first started out on our hike. They greeted us with friendly smiles and offered us some of their liquid warmth. Pouring the vodka into a somewhat crumpled plastic cup, they offered juice as a chaser. We took some photos with them and they serenaded us with a Mongolian song. In thanks, we offered up a measly version of “In the Jungle”  (it seems to be the go-to song for us here)! As we continued on our way back to the van, we brilliantly created a version of the song entitled “In the Gobi”. Trust me, you don’t want to hear it!

Serenading us with some Mongolian music

Serenading us with some drunken, but quite entertaining, Mongolian music

So our day came to a close. The night sky pulled itself around the ger and we tucked ourselves in for another night.

P.S. In rememberance of our version of In the Gobi, I wrote the 12 days of Mongolian Christmas for my grade ones to sing in the Christmas/holiday concert. The first day was “A camel from the Gobi”. Maybe one day if I’m really desperate I’ll post the lyrics!

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~ by dawseng on January 22, 2009.

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