Today is the day I leave Arburd Sands and head back to UB. On one hand I am ready to be on my way and continue my next destination, but on the other I am a little sad to leave the people with whom I have spent the last 5 days with and grown fond of. After breakfast I went and packed ever thing and then went to the library to get a wall hanging I had admired the first day. I also saw a pair of Mongolian wool slippers that were only $14 so i got them as well. I would really have liked to have bought one of the super warm cashmere blankets that say 'Arburd Sands' but they weren't advertised as for sale and it would be so bulky it would be hard to carry for another 9 days. Yes, it's hard to believe I only have 9 more days! But I do feel like I've had quite an adventure, and also quite a relaxing time. And I still have a whole other country (and the Great Wall!!) to go!
It's quite cold today with the wind really whipping. It seems like I've picked the perfect time to leave as it's been getting progressively cooler the last 3 days or so. In fact, next weekend is the final of the season for the camp, and then it closes until next year, opening again in May or June. It was so cold this morning that when I squeezed my tube of Vaseline (for my lizard scale dry lips), it was so hard from the cold that it actually popped the seam of the tube! Good thing I brought along some duct tape!
Before I left I gave each person in camp - the guides, cook and waitress - a small tip and had one of the Norwegians take a group photo of us. I asked Badrakh to tell them I felt like I was leaving family. Then I kissed each one on the cheek and they stood and waved until we were out of sight.
Badrakh was driving me back (in his good 4x that is a *much* smoother ride than the mini bus I came in) and said we would stop at his father's ger. First we stopped at the ger of a family of one of the guides and they gave us curds and aairaig. Then we stopped at Badrakh's father's and he explained that his father was actually coming with us as Badrakh was taking him to the hospital to have a heart condition checked.
His father is 79 and small boned, but when he put on his brightly colored maroon silk robe with black embroidery and a medal pinned to the breast, his large decorative belt and traditional Mongolian wool boots curved up at the toes, he looked like royalty. Then he put on a white straw western cowboy hat and he became a mix of Mongolian and western.
At Badrakh's father's they gave me a bowl of warm milk and I had drunk almost all of it before I remembered that even at home, when I have too much dairy without carbohydrates to help digest it, I get a bad tummy. So on the drive all the way to UB I had the worst gas and Badrakh and his father would always roll the window down for a few min every time I let one. I imagined Badrakh's father saying to him, 'Son, what are you feeding these tourists!?' LOL
I'm now sitting in the Nomadic Journey office posting all these blogs so you are up-to-date on what's going on here in Mongolia! I am feeling better today so have decided to wait until tomorrow to go to the doctor, if I feel crummy again. I don't leave for Beijing until Thursday so I have all day tomorrow. The plan is to sight see in UB and then I will take an 8am train on Thurs.
Will send more post cards (hopefully those of you that I have mailing addresses for have received some already) and will update the blog as more fun things happen! Don't forget to write me!!! :)