28 June 2006

MONGOLIA day-7 28th June 2006 "TANJIN"

105.72 kilometre:
Tonight we are camped 27km by road from KHUTAG-ONDOR in a pine forest. We were woken early by the sound of cattle and shortly afterward by a herder called TANJIN. He shared biscuits with us and conveyed that he had been drinking vodka and also dancing the prior night. In Mongolia people laugh with you, so I started to play my one inch harmonica and we moved to a simple shuffle rhythmn and belly laughed. He then insisted that I sit upon his horse. The Mongolian horse being smaller, made the episode less daunting and the animal would not move nor respond to my calls. Secretly I was glad that this beautiful creature did not bound away! Tanjin had a 2 day journey to BULGAN which had only taken us one. Another herder said that he would take 3 days to MORON and that this should be 2 days via bicycle. Lunch at a derelict road house consisted of Tsuivan, which is a mix of fried Doe, with strips of fried pastry with a minimum of carrot and onion. It is very oily and with the salty tea my stomach expanded to a point of mild pain. It is the national dish, the only compromise to tourism were the french fries served within the dish. Chilli sauce on the table gave the meal flavour as traditionally spices are not used.
"Tajin" was a very friendly herder sleeping out in the wild without a tent and droving cattle to the capital of Ulaanbator.It became very common for people to swap a ride on our bicycles for use of a horse. By his reckoning our bicycles would be a day quicker than a horse over a four day journey.

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