Day 66 Mongolia day 5

3 Aug

Day 66 Mongolia day 5, originally uploaded by Big Al!.

More riding across the endless Mongolian plains. It really is amazing, unique. Early on, we follow a line of telegraph poles, in the middle of nowhere, miles from any population. There are eagles perched on top of the poles, sometimes 3 or 4 on each one. As we get close they take flight, and it’s a stunning sight. They are so big, majestic, effortlessly powerful, and there are so many of them. I stop to try to take a photo, and creep towards one. It takes off and circles overhead for a few minutes, just yards above me. It’s incredible. I don’t think i’ve ever seen an eagle in the wild before, and here is one swooping around my head just yards away, its vast wingspan and overwhelming presence dominating the sky. Captivating and unforgettable. These animals are impressive enough in a zoo, but to see them in their own environment is entirely different. We arrive at Ulaangom, another suprising oasis of western convenience miles of hard riding across dirt and grass from anywhere else. Mobile phone signal, petrol stations, banks, markets, people in trendy western dress, shops with a wierd mix of russian, chinese, german, and american produce. We stop for lunch in the desert south of lake Uvs Nuur, sausage and fried egg sandwiches. Nice, but i melt a hole in my trousers with the frying pan. After another 4 hours riding point to point across the endless plain we camp in the middle of nowhere and gorge on pasta with more sausage, accompanied by one of the nicest bottles of wine we’ve had all trip, a french cabernet sauvignon. French cabernet sauvignon, in Mongolia, bought from a shop in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Unexpected, welcome, yet somehow a bit wrong. This is a country that continues to leave me astonished.