The Gobi – Day 5 (part 2)

After having finished our trek up the sand dunes, we continued on our journey towards the old capital of Mongolia, Kharkhorim.  Not long after we set off though, we encountered yet another problem with our trusty (!!) van.  Somewhere along the line, we had lost our radiator cap, which, when you are in the middle of a desert with a limited supply of water, is not an ideal situation.  So we stopped at a watering hole to top up the radiator and Dawa, our driver, fashioned a makeshift cap by cutting out a new cap out of a thick piece of rubber sheet.  It was amazing seeing how he repaired the van with only basic tools and made do with limited resources each time that it broke down.

Gobi Day 5 - Watering CamelsHere’s Jen filling up one of our water jugs at the watering
hole.  We also helped to quench the thirst of the local camels.

With a new makeshift radiator cap in place, we were back on the road and once again the landscape changed dramatically in the blink of an eye.  The rest of day 5 was mostly spent driving, which was still a treat to the eyes, even after having already spent 4 previous days sitting in the same van with the same people.

Gobi Day 5 - Back Through the Mountains

After several hours, we finally stopped in a small town for the night.  Stocking up in a small shop, our guide found directions to the only hotel in town, but she soon discovered that it was full.  We returned to the shop and the shopkeeper was kind enough to offer to put us up with her family.

It was amazing.  We were, once again, on the receiving end of the legendary Mongolian hospitality.

The shopkeeper’s family had a ger as well as a small house.  Since there were so many of us and we didn’t all fit into the ger, a few of us slept in the house.  Jen took full advantage of this and she was able to wash her hair before going to bed, which was a very nice treat for her since it had been 5 days since she last washed it.

There wasn’t much left for us to do on our trip and by this time, already heading in the direction of home, most of us were feeling ready to sleep in our own beds and have a nice hot shower.  The next day we were due to visit the old capital Kharhorim.  Then it was nothing but driving until we got home…

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~ by dawseng on March 21, 2009.

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