Fly to: Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia
Internal Transfer: Ulaan Bataar - Olgii (3hrs 30mins)
Ex-Soviet 4x4 Jeeps 9hrs driving without roads across the steppe to Potaniin Glacier, Altai Mountains
Visa required: Yes if British
Time Zone:+8hrs GMT
Day 12, 31/07/09: Mongolia - Altai Mountains
Up at 7am and awoke to lashing rain; ahem Ian's comment yesterday about keeping the tents dry seems irrelevant now. Ate a hearty breakfast and then packed up camp for the last time - the jeeps were readied for action and we began the 6hr drive to Olgii (approx 94km cross country). Now Ian's description of Olgii is this, pure & simple, "Some people consider Olgii the arse of the world, they're wrong; Olgii is the boil on the arse of the world!"
The weather cleared beautifully, so we were able to appreciate fully the scenery en-route, once again we were amazed at a solitary seagull flying overhead. We stopped off for lunch by a huge river, it looked picturesque against the Afghan style hills - unfortunately reality was somewhat different as we were instantly swarmed by a cloud of ravenous mosquitoes. As we looked up we witnessed the flight of the Everest Geese which was pretty special; eventually we arrived in Olgii. Tonight we would be sleeping in traditional Gers.
Now how would i describe Olgii...something along the lines of...'the hills have eyes meets Hiroshima!'
This evening we went to Sandagashs' home where she cooked us all a traditional Mongolian feast and after we visited a Eagle Hunter who looked like Mr Mayagi... ah daniel san! Ian & Martin checked martin's flight tickets and to his absolute horror not only was he on a different flight to the rest of us, but it was on a different day from a different airport (6hrs away)! I felt for the guy; though he tried to put on a brave face you couldn't help but notice how quiet he became - to be told that would be quite a shock; think i would've been sick!
I stayed in a Ger with Gill & Di; during the night Gill ran out to the loo when she returned she forgot to lock the door; next thing we hear is some drunk guy banging and thumping the compound gates. Now considering we'd jumped the fence to get back in we all suddenly lay very still, very scared. The next morning it turns out we all had the same plan; if he came in the door we would shine full beam our headtorches and then beat him with the three legged stool with synchronised screaming! Go girls!