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paulus travels

Monday 04-04-2011

Woke up with some pain here and there. Oh yes we have been riding horses yesterday. And today after the coffee and breakfast we leave with the horses. The lessons we had before leaving make a huge difference. After one ride with a guide they are sending us out alone, just me and Frans. Two city cowboys riding Mongolia. What lucky we feel today. This ride will be in the books of history. We never would be able to see the landscape from up here if we had to go by foot. These horse go up hill and down hill and even on the flat they are much faster then we ever can. We reach a Buddhist stone stupa in the mountains> Of course good place to get some pictures and send by the gods a fully in Mongolian outfit dressed horseman is coming up to check us out. To get friendship we offer him a shaggie and some water. We have to be careful out here because of a sure ten year jail sentence if caught with hash. That what our landlord Martin told us and we know he is not talking bullshit. Ok it still hurts and the riding doesn’t make it any better. But train the ass for things to come. Beeing up here in the mountains gives us a feel of living on the Ponderosa farm or like being life in Rawhide.

Dead cow P4051797P405179701

Tuesday 05-04-2011   at the camp of Martin

After a good night sleep, and a lot of wind we looked out side to see it has been snowing last night so get yourself ready for a snow ride. Breakfast and coffee than the farm and than the horses were saddled. The snow melted but still cold. So all the expensive gear we bought will come to hand. Getting the right clothes on takes us half an hour but then we are off. My horses is a little bit stubborn but after Frans told him what to do he listened much better. Hope is there I will get the hang of it. Staying out on the farm with these Mongolian people makes us humble. They live a hard life and all we do is drink coffee, have breakfast, ride horses, be fed again, have a beer and ride out again. We are treated as the best out here

Toilet in the snow Making wondefull cheese The clown of the camp

Wednesday  06-04-2011      at the camp of Martin and taking the train to Ulaan Bataar

Today is the last day at Martins Camp. We have to say we will miss the place. We have been treated so well over here. The food was just what we needed, plenty of it and very well for horseman. Around eleven we get an other meal so we will be no hungry when we go out with the horses again. So a little before twelve we leave the farm and ride out. What a fine ride on the plains, and see the wild horses who live out there( good pictures). Afyter returning at around 16.30 hours we put the horses in there stable for the last time. Some more food and then wait till ot is time to leave. Saying goodbye and so. Martin brings us to the trainstaion and a ticket is arranged already. Hop on the train and fall a sleep. Because tomorrow the train arrives at UB at 6.20 hours.

Horse rolling on its back Farm kids

Thursday   07-04-2011          arrival in Ulaan Bataar

So at 6.20 hours we arrived and went with our tour operator for Mongolia to the guesthouse. And after a cup of coffee, a shower. That feels great, in the camp was no shower or washing facilities. So staying there for four days and riding horses makes you very dirty. So the frase was , hey you! shit on your shoe. After that a walk trough town. And relax for the rest of the day. Tomorrow we will be ging to The Terelj National park for some serious ridfing trough the nature. So off line for six days till we will be back in Ulaan Bataar.

Friday   08-04-2011       arrival in the Terelj

After a two hour bus ride we did arrive in the Terelj. The ride brought us deeper in the area so we had a quick view of what we were in for. The landscape arround here is filled with hills and valley’s in between them. Birch Forrest , strange rock formations and a lot of cattle. At tjhe first ger we arrived was our home base. We mety our guide and his family. His father and mother in law provided us with a very basic ger with plenty of wood for the heating.  So we have the basic gear for the upcoming days. So lets ride tomorrow.

Saturday 09-04-2011   riding horses in the Terelj

So today all preparations have to pay off. Arround 6.30 we wake up and its freezing cold in the ger. Like everytime we sleep in one. So first thing to do is to lit the fire place and when its warm again we get out of our beds. We have coffee and hot water, so lets start the day well. Coffee and a J. Have a stroll in the hood and shoot some pictures make toilet in the woods and at 9.00 have breakfast. Then time for preparations because of the cold. So what to wear. 2 pairs of socks (Thermo), 1 pair thermo pants, underwear, pair of jeans and a pair of anti wind trousers. 2 thermo shirts, 2 tshirts, 1 trui with coll, 2 wind stopper jackets and my new coat. 1 pair of thermo gloves and 1 pair of snow gloves. And on the back we carry our camera bags. The other stuff (food and clothes) goes on the packing horse. At 10.30 we ride out for a new adventure. We go east for a long time through the valley and make a four our ride. It is really cold and very windy. So bite your lip and shut up. No time for suckers. The landscape is overwhelming. The rivers are still frozen and on the hills parts are covered with snow. In the valley we see a lot of cattle walking and grazing in the neighborhood of their farms. They graze the little grass that is there after the winter. When it is getting around 17.00 hours cattle goes back to their stables at the farm. They are trained to do so. The horses are staying out side and roam freely all night until they are needed. Not all the horses are for riding, but the ones that are very special animals. They can roam the country side for huge parts of the year and live a wild life. But when needed they are brought to the farm and saddled and then you go out with them. Once they have been broken they are half wild and half riding horse. They are shorter then the European horses but also way stronger. During this week we have seen what they can do and what kinds of terrain they can go. We think that it is the best way to see areas like this and many others to.

Besides 2 short stops we made it was nice but cold ride. Easy going so the guide could see how we where doing with his horses. Of course we had to do well so the next days we would be going even more difficult terrain. Arriving at our new ger was a special treat. The people living out there were very nice and loved a good joke. The man of the house even showed his rifle with a scope. We thought it was one to shoot elephants with. But there are non in Mongolia. So it must have been for bears and wolves. We drank some vodka and had a great meal. Some walking in the area and hanging around the farm. Another healthy horseman dinner and at 21.00 hours to sleep. The inhabitants of the ger offer their beds to us (paying customers).  

The old folks of our base camp Frans early morning base camp having a The tings we see on the way
The rifle man Horse in the snow Horses on side of the hill

Sunday   10-04 2011    riding the Terelj

Waking up around 06.30 and after a while the guide tells us that he has lost 3 of the horses las night. So he rides out to have a look for them. Coming back for beakfast still not found. But when the son of the house wakes up he is seeing them out in the woods only two minutes away. Our guide went out looking for the horses again. When he returns the horses are nicely tied to the pole for the horses. We ask him why his horse is so much transpiring. Did you go home to your wife to have a quickie? All he did was laugh? So but every body happy the horses are back so lets go. And off we went for another 3 hour ride. When we closing in on the new place to stay we went in full gallop. And what a place ( see little film) After a good meal (lunch) we went out again to see the surrounding area. Hills to climb and go off them at the other side, Buddhist signs to see and strange rock formations. At the last formation of rocks we saw Frans was staying behind to shoot some pictures. The guide and me went on slowly until there was a choose to make in the way to take. The guide explained to me that he wanted to go back to have a look for Frans. I told him that the sun was standing low and good for shooting pictures. So leave Frans, he will find his way back. And by the way his horse handling is outstanding. But I had to leave my Katsu cap behind with a note to inform Frans with directions. Coming at our camp, Frans horse was out side and sweaty all over. He has been riding like a mad man. The people where we are staying are not as nice or happy as the other families we met on this trek. So watching some English football on the tele. Oh yeah it some times looks like Morocco because they all have a satellite dish. And sleep at 22.00 hours. Smoking a J is hard because of the penalty. So dreaming is good and heavy.

Frans early morning all dressed up in his Mongolian  hose man jacket playing with the cat

 

Monday 11-04-2011    ride again how far?

The morning has broken when we wake up at 6.30. Horses are still there. and while waiting for brakfast the guide tells us that a young horse has been born last night. Oh yeah. So we go over there and shoot some drama footage. We even take pictures of the first steps the the little one takes. The Horse magazine will love these pictures. So do we. Then after a good breakfast we ride out again. 5 hours 3 smoking stops and a nice landscape. We hope to arrive at the next ger in one hour riding from here. Oh shit The family were we would stay is not at home. Ok the guide says. Half an hour from here is a next place were we can stay. Not home. So now what. He tells us that we have to ride to base camp. That would be our next stop tomorrow. So an extra 2 hour of riding. After all a hard hard day of riding but very rewarding with pain all over our bodies. But that evening we were all happy. We did it 8 hours of riding and still in a good mood.

Yak we encoutered in the country side
Just born last night First steps

Tuesday 12-04-2011 riding to the Temple (with out cameras)

So from base camp we will be leaving to have a ride in the area. For the fun of riding we decide to leave all cameras at home. And riding with out the backpack makes a big difference. We ride trought the woods, up hill and down hill. And then we reach an area with a lot of lava rock formations. And also reach a Buddhist temple up against the mountain. And we like the place but with out our cameras. So we have to stay another day to go back here with them. So we stay an extra day. After a full day of riding we have to move to an other camp (Bert Camp). Bert is a Dutch guy who is married to a Mongolian woman and living here for more the ten years. We are served  a real Dutch meal. Who would have thought so in Mongolia. We can even smoke a J at his place. He is not so uptight as the Mongolians. So we drink and smoke tonight. And fall a sleep happy and stronken.

The country side is fgilled with dead animals who didn't survive the winter

 

Tree with blue banners

 

Riding the birch woods
Lava rock formation

Wednesday 13-04-2011

The extra day of horse riding will ber today. Otherwise we would have gone to UB (Ulaan Bataar) today and stay there for 3 days. The city is not so intresting. So we will visit the Buddihist temple today in the afternoon. So in the morning we make another trip of 3 hours.The tree with the blue ribbons is a place were the Shamaan  does some rituals.

Thursday 14-04-2011

Today I will be going to UB and Frans is staying in the Terelj for an otherday. Bert who also has to go to UB brings me with the car. The ride is around 2 hours and we make a stop at the black market so I can buy a present for my sister in law. Then he brings me to the Chinggis Hostel were I can take a shower and have my clothes washed. So for when we go Gobi we have all clean stuff in our backpacks. Also working very hard to update the story on the last couple of days is occupying a big part of the rest of the day.

Friday   15-04-2011 

Spend the day in UB working for the viewers so I cooked up two more videos. Me leaving Amsterdam and the train ride. So enjoy. I did. Also made a small museum tour. One is the Lama temple the other the historical museum of Mongolia. Frans was there as well  he arrived this morning from the Terelj. Walking trough town with a clown is nice.

Tomorrow morning we will be leaving early for the Gobi dessert. Probably no internet so up dates later. Laters   paulus

Lama Temple lama temple It does not make you high or stond
school uniforms. Every body back to school we could not resist to shoot this one

 

 

Saturday   16-04-2011

So today we got up at 6.15 had coffee and breakfast. At 8.30 we will be picked up by Daka our guide and booking office. I am writing this in the train. We have a full wagon with people. They all go to the Gobi. They are telling us that there might be an earthquake in the neighborhood of Ub. We are in the train with some of Daka’s family. We hope we have some time on our own so we don’t have to spend to much time with them. For Mongloian people the Gobi is a spiritual place.

Traveling for almost four weeks now feels good. Frans being here is very nice and we have  lots of fun. And have seen plces were not a lot of people will go. The train rides I take as a restting day and looking out side. Think a little and sleep. I felt the travelling mood taking a hold of me while we were in Irkutsk. So the nervousness of the first week is gone.Finding my things in the luggage is getting easier. And when Frans takes the warm clothing department with him to Amsterdam, I will have lot of space in my backpack. Hooray. But we were happy to hve bought all of thes thermo stuff it helped a great deal to survive the cold. And they are telling us that we are lucky with the weather, Because it should be colder now. And the last couple of days we experiece a temp rise. Be proud of Amsterdam because UB is not the nicest place on earth. It is International but still very much Russian buildings. Even de Bijlmer looked better. But this place is more safe. It is very nice to wake up in a warm place and not to have spend the first ten minutes on lighting the fire place. Not talking about the chopping of the wood .

Sunday   17-04-2011 Gobi Dessert

Yesterday evening we reached the Gobi. First by train to Sainshand and than by car one drive to the Shambala area. When we reached the gers teh family and friends of Daka quickly entered the gers. And we were standing outside in the cold. Then Frans had enough and spoke to Daka. So we got better ger than given to us. We are paying customers. First thing we did today was a visit to the temple of Shambala. At nine o’clock the ceremony started. A lot of shanting by the monks. And people who come from all over Mongolia to have been here at least once in there life. It is also a possibility to ask blessings and advice for life. This morning I offered some camel milk and rice for my mother. This place is a specially dedicated to woman. Only woman are allowed to do offering and men who just lost there mother. So there I was. After that we moved on to Shambala. The Buddhist place for Mongolian people. This place is in the dessert and erected at a spot containing a lot of iron in the ground and rocks.

Monk at Shambala Temple Lama of the Shambala Temple
People energizing at Shambala The guy who tells the stories of rocks and Lama's

Monday   18-04 2011 Shambala area

Frans is getting better from a little over dose of horse riding and traveling. After a day rest he is up and running again. Today we visit the temple again and the Shambala Area. Frans and I are the only two people in the temple and the monks. So good opportunity to shoot pictures and some film. Because it is Monday there are not so many people as yesterday in the area. So we make some pictures and energize ourselves. For Mongolian people this is the place to do so. Loose all bad and gain the good. The afternoon is spend on waiting and relaxing for the moment of the camel ride. That was a fluke.A guy holding the camels and walking besides us to keep the camels in order. A 45 minutes ride of nothing. Eating the inside of camel was a nice experience. The farmer who was a very nice happy man shopwed us how to cut the cashmere wool from the camels. A one hour drive back and relax and sleep.

Shambala Area holy nplace to Mongolians  and Buddhuist Picking up energy from the earth
Bird of pray in the  Gobi dessert
Bell tower for Shambala Area
One leg camel milking. Ship of the dessert
Offer place for woman
Uyanga offering vodka
One of the stupa's on the way to Shambala
Thats the way to collect the Cashmere
Gobi dessert sand dunes

Tuesday 19-04-2011

We went to the sand dunes. The wind was blowing very strong. On the way there we have seen wild camels, horses and gazelle. At the foot of the sand dunes is a lake. But a big problem for the mongols and animals is that the water is used for mining ( gold, copper and uranium). These days the groups of gazelles are small, we have been told that they are shot for the meat. So when they see a car or people the run, fast and jump to get away from our cameras. Because of the weather we try to find some shelter in a spa village but that is deserted. So we go back and have beers a J and some sleep. Sleep? yes because last night a couple of mongolian youngsters held us a wake, they been drinking and sining last night. So we only slept a few hours. Telling the truth we like to go to Beijing now, a shower, a soft bed, better food and city life thats what we want now. Its been very good staying in Mongolia and we think both that we will be going back. Next time in the summer May, June , luly would be the greenset part of the year.

For the fisherman we know. They all tell us that you can fly fish here. A lot of trout (forel) and even bigger fish. At Berts camp they will know some people who could arrange these things. While we were here all rivers are frozen.

For J lovers.. There is a natural ganja in the north. It is not the smoking varieaty. But for you Wageningen students it is flowering in a shorter period than ours. For collecting the seeds ( sentece 10 jear jail ) you go Orkhon and hire a horse and pay your guide well. And harvest pack and go home .I asked for seeds but they are not collecting them themselfs.

Wednesday  20-04-2011  Shambala area and Sainshand

To my brother Dick the best wishes. Many good years to come. Bro.    The weather today is cloudy. We don’t mind it our last day the wind is less then yesterday and the temp is up. So we drive again to the Shambala area. There is a mountain to climb. On top man are aloud to scream for their best wishes. Woman have to do this one level lower and kids at the bottom. Our condition is not so bad after all. Walking the stairs is easy. At the top we offer some vodka and drink the rest of it. We make our wishes and scream as loud as we can. Their is even harmony in our voices. After climbing down we drive to Sainshand and have a shower in the Gobi Hotel. And we are having our lunch/dinner with some well deserved rest. At 2.00 the train is leaving for Zamiin Uud. From here we will take a Jeep to cross the border to Erlian in China.

Thursday   21-04-2011    Train to Zamiin Uud and russian jeep to Erlian (China)

After a bad night of sleep in the train we arrived at 7.30 in Zamiin Uud, were had a breakfast and coffee. Zamiin Uud is the border place of Mongolia. A lot of Mongols are going from there to Erlian (china ) to buy all kinds of things. They take the night train to and from Erlian for a quick day of shopping and doing business. Daka our guide has arranged a russian jeep with a woman driver. This woman rides her jeep every day a couple of times a cross the border to bring and get people in and out of Erlian. She knows how it works out at the border. She tells us to go and see the military people and tell them that we have an appointment in Erlian at the Mongolian visa bureau. And yes it works we have the vip treatment. We leave the 3 hour taking traffic jam and are brought to the front of the cue. Entering the border crossing from the mother of Daka meets an old school mate. He gives us an other vip treatment and leads us passing all the waiting Mongols. We have our stamps in a wink and now up to the Chinese border. No special treatment here but only a ten minute wait for our entry stamp. So China here we are.

Walking through Erlian a bit felt like a deja vu. Not so strange I was in 2006 for two months in China. When you cross the border the world looks totally different then Mongolia. Erlian is a rather booming place and set up new by the Government. Streets are wide and ready for traffic.

Friday 22-04-2011  From Erlian to Beijing by train

We left Erlian yesterday evening around 1.30 hours by train to move to Beijing. So at 14.20 we arrived and at Beijing and at 15.40 we had a beer at our hostel.

Click here for page 3 Arrived in China

paulus travels
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