18th September – On the way to Altay City

18 Sep

Instead of our standard porridge we think we are getting breakfast in the ger.




When we arrive  the mother and eldest daughter were busy as a goat had just been slaughtered. That left the next eldest daughter to serve hot milk with salt and some pastry like squares that taste a little of goat fat.


Once we had eaten we went outside to see how the ladies were doing with the goat. It appears that everything would be used. The legs and head were put to one side for some special dish while the other entrails were prepared. The daughter in the picture above was still making eat sign language which was slightly worrying when we looked in the metal dish.



Ladies preparing the food for the pot.



Eager as we were to tuck in to the stew (by now all the inside bits of the goat had been put into a pot with some water and potatoes) we thought it would be nice to take some family photos. They were enthusiastic and all got changed and posed in front of the mountain.



We had already packed the camper to go and as we prepared to leave the family kept pointing at the bubbling mass of food in the pot, making more frantic eat signs. Delicious as it looked we felt that 9.00 am was just a little too early for such a big meal and so we left. They looked disappointed that we were not going to join them, and as we drove away we felt guilty. However we were sure that it would not go to waste. They were lovely kind people. It seems that if you turn up at their ger they will offer you food and a bed, whoever you are.


The road from here was again really rough and lots of sandy areas with deep bull dust. Not nice for motorcycles I think. The roads were also really badly corrugated and although the little ridges look insignificant they shake you around really badly. The advice is normally drive a bit faster to fly over the top but the holes and sudden dips make that too dangerous in most places


It is really isolated here, 400km from Khovd and we have seen very few cars. A few lorries with people packing up the gers to move to their winter camps, but very little else. It would probably feel more comfortable travelling with two vehicles here. Again it is often difficult to know which track is the best one to take!!



After driving all day (9.00am until 6.30pm) with just two coffee breaks and a lunch stop and we have travelled 300km. As we arrived at the top of the last pass there is another cairn with prayer flags marking the spot.


We camped in a yard behind a hotel in Altay City tonight ( 150p/night)

Tomorrow we need more diesel and check a few noises on the car before heading to the next town …. another 400km of Gobi.


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