Ulaanbaatar - August 4, 2015
Back in Ulaanbaatar on a rest cycle. Back to the land of salad, French fries (Freedom Fries to my American friends) and beer. Still get salted tea on occasion, so I try to stick to the coffee. But I did get a note from my friend Kathy H. on the list inquiring as to how I was handling my vegetarianism here. Very casually actually. But it did remind me of a funny story. You might remember I mentioned Brigid, the Irish lady who joined us for a while and the ger restaurant that smelled of horse dung. Well, I guess after Brigid met up with her husband, they went back through Darkhan and stopped at the same restaurant. It was pretty unique and they did have good food despite the smell. I think she must have gotten the staff "giggle" menu, however. She sent us a picture. It included among other delights, Horse Rectum and Sheep Spleen. I'm sure they just put that out there for laughs. It would be interesting to ask for horse rectum and see it they have it. Oh, sorry sir, all out... there was quite a "run" on it. Ha!
Anyway, sorry for the late posting last time re: the Gobi but of course no internet there, and unfortunately no internet at the hotel that I had previously stayed at in Mandalgovi. Guess they were doing some work and of course the whole system goes down for days at a time. I'm not sure they've got the service thing down at that place either. I indicated to the manager that I'd like to get my bike out of the secure parking area behind the hotel, but I could not get out the back door because it was locked. So instead of walking down the long hallway to unlock the door, he opened the window behind the front desk and motioned for me to jump through it. What? A four foot drop to a small roof, then another five or so to the ground. Is that really what you want your 62 year old guests to do? But so be it. At least I got to the bike. So I opened the gate myself and drove around to the front where I could load the cases. Geez, no wonder my back hurts. I just can't fathom that at home. Here, jump out the window. Maybe that the hotel's "giggle" for the day too.
So it rained quite a bit today, but hopefully will be better tomorrow. Just spent most of the day editing OpenStreetMaps and adding the new road to Dalanzagad. Way to go Little EEE! But if the weather is better tomorrow, I'll start heading north, hopefully as far as Erdenet, a town about halfway to Khovsgol Lake. Then a couple of nights camping on the lake, and a few days to get back to the border. I have to stay in Darkhan again myself as that puts me in good position for the border and Ulan-Ude. I might go back to the restaurant myself. In fact, I might just have to put my vegetarianism on hold for an evening. Hard to control myself given the offerings they have. I wonder if fried sphincter tastes like chicken?
Take care... and read the ingredients carefully,