Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Western Mongolia

Mongolia didn't disappoint on its first morning. We were greeted by rolling hills under blue skies, dotted with some white yurts and the occasional sheep and yak herd. 😍

We haven't finished our breakfast when a van showed up, off roading like it was normal to drive a low clearance car over the steppe. At that point we didn't know that this is indeed normal in Mongolia 😆 Anyway, with lots of hand signals and laughs the driver gave us to understand that he was hunting marmots with his small calibre rifle. He convinced the two women to give it a try shooting at a plastic bottle and then showed off his skill himself. Afterwards he wanted vodka (for breakfast i guess?) and then would drive away happily waving out the window. If you haven't heard, shortly before our visits a Russian couple died of the plague (yes Black Death in capital letters) after having eaten raw marmot. Apparently its quite the aphrodisiac 🤷‍♂️

Just a short stop in Ölgii and we turned again to the north-east in pursuit of some of the best petroglyphs in Mongolia, if not whole Asia! 😂 The valley was super nice, with just some tiny villages and on the second day we even found the aforementioned glyphs.

After this little detour back in Ölgii our group split up: The couple from Berne went south-east to meet some friends, the two guys from Zürich went to the north-west and we stayed for the night.

Back at home we bought a compressor to inflate a flat tire after fixing it or to adjust the pressure for different terrains. So far so good, but using it was quite a pain as in our small car easily reachable space was at a premium. Because of that it ended up being buried at the bottom and not used. As the driving tended to become more challenging where de/increasing tire pressure was a common thing and gaining some space in the back we decided to install it under the hood. Okay the guys from Zürich had it there and we copied it 😉 But easier said than done... hunting around the city and lots of hand signs later we ended up with a piece of aluminium to mount the compressor onto the wheel arch.

Together with the next door mechanic, his son and lots of time we managed to build a satisfactory solution which is still going strong 💪 Now we only need to pop the hood and attach the hose to fill up!

The next morning we were eager to leave the city again and head east!