In a small place called Tadam they held the first of the seasons mini-Nadaams in readiness for the big games carnival in Ulan Bataar next month. Over three hours we were treated to wrestling bouts, archery and horse riding. Throw in some dancing and singing and crowd participation and that makes for a fun time.
Another small homestay last night with three gers. The central ger was decorated in Kazakh style and it’s where we ate dinner and where the owner, drivers and travellers sleep. The woman who runs this homestay is very cool. She also knows the value of brewed coffee at breakfast time.
After dinner a carload of people turned up in what turned out to be a joint effort to straighten the ger frame that had moved in heavy winds.
It was fun to watch. The final coverings were replaced well after the nine o’clock sunset and well after we went to bed.
Friday afternoon and into the Gobi region. Treated to a sandstorm.
Formerly one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia, Ongiin Khiid lies in ruins except for a new temple rebuilt in 2004. Stalin’s cohorts destroyed the site in 1939.
We flew into Ulan Bataar yesterday evening just before eight when the sun was still up enough to give an indication of the mountains surrounding the city. Once settled in, we had a bonus get-together with two old colleagues of Himself and got familiar with the local beers.
We have stripped back our bags for the next 8 days or so to get out into some of this wide open spaces. It was out of the city early and not too long before horses became the morning’s theme.
The stainless steel edifice of Genghis Khan was indeed impressive, particularly as we had the whole place to ourselves for the best part of the visit. Himself got up close and personal with a golden eagle, many of which we hope to see in the wild in coming days.
We’re having a quiet afternoon before taking a hike in Terelj National Park to a nearby temple. We are staying with a family in a group of gers surrounded by rocky cliffs and mountains. It’s a full moon tonight so the after dinner views should be special.
In no particular order, out and about today in Kyoto
Meeting a retired English semantics professor at Gion-Shijo railway station. He bailed us up in the nicest possible way.
Hirose Coffee Shop in Arishiyama. Another sweet little cafe with Audrey Hepburn references and a charming host.
In the gardens surrounding the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
The weather was forecast earlier this week to be overcast and rainy, but it came good with enough wind to let the sun shine through. Here are some landscape highlights from coastal scenes to a mid-afternoon walk around the top of an old volcanic plug.
Marrawah at the start of the Takine Drive
Arthur River and Edge of the World
near Kanunnah Bridge upstream on the Arthur River
We took the chairlift up to The Nut which stands above the town of Stanley. and walked down because the lift closed before our descent. A new and temporary feature of this blog is “Where’s Bec?”, brought to you via a current family joke. Normal service will resume when she is far enough away again to do me no harm.
We seem to have spent as much time watching others achieve the seemingly impossible and/or wreck axles, side panels and radiators than making our own crossings on the Overland Telegraph Track. The Jardine River crossing by ferry has been the least stressful of all thus far.
Here is a selection documenting our own attempts and those of others.
A few highlights from today.
Tracking down more street art murals. In this mix is Brother and Sister on a Swing and Children Playing Basketball by Louis Gan, a Penang-born artist and The Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do This, a piece from the 101 Lost Kittens project.
If you happen to be walking down near the wharves, it’s not hard to tell that a new cruise liner has arrived in town.
And a Georgian house, restored to its early 19th century state. The restaurant upstairs in Suffolk House caters for lunches and afternoon teas.