27 June 2006

MONGOLIA day-6 27th June 2006

Uran-togoo Tulga reserve 1551metre 65km:
Our Austrian friends are travelling for one year and as a consequence were equipped fully with spare chains, large pliers and to my delight a roll of metal strapping (6" wide) which made the repair of my front rack like new. We awoke to a thermos of hot water and plain bread for breakfast, which was quite hysterical in our hungry state and to the crys of "wash wash wash" by our very helpfull hotel owner. Through context we eventually ascertained that this was an offer to fill our water containers! Upon departing everyone was there to help load the bicycles. It was a nice goodbye as again we trailed the warm dusty roads. The landscape transition was to Taiga (pine forest) and near DULAAN HAAN UUL we unexpectantly found ourselves on a mountain pass at 1648 metres. The relative coolness of the day was due to being at height. By the day's end a large single fallstreak seemed to be hunting us down. With a mild sensation of unease we trailed into a pine forest and then lay comfortably tented whilst the rain fell and the thunder boomed about 5 kilometre away. Although the ride was pleasant enough our lunch stop in a logcabin, with views on two sides was the joy of the day. Goulash was made fresh - the meat was cut from the bone and tenderised with a geology hammer. Onions were sliced thinly and with purpose and raw grated carrot garnished the rice. The herb with the scent of CINOLE oil was finely cut and sprinkled on the meat, imparting a vaguely fennel scent. The kitchen had a large box type wood stove and our chairs were cylindrical tree logs. Three generations of people lived there and a baby, bare bottomed, then crawled across the dining table whilst the mother wrote out menus. The men of the family were keen regarding our journey and with the phrasebook we were actually able to tell our story and our country of origin. It was a good time and we struggled to eat all the food.

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