08:00 alarm clock goes off. I figured one hour to get ready and have breakfast would be enough for me, but apparently I’m a bit slower than I thought. Ten minutes before I had to leave I still had to get dressed, prepare my day pack for the hike and make some breakfast (that I could only start eating about an hour later) Today Nayamushka and I met for a hike in the Bogd Kahn Mountain near Ulaanbaatar. This mountain area has been protected since 1783! Making this the oldest protected natural site in the world.
With the outside temperature being as low as -16 degrees we get ourselves a hot beverage before driving to the mountain site. Nayamushka was so kind to bring me her sisters traditional clothes that I could wear while hiking and making pictures. The garment is called a ‘del’ and is made of silk. It has a beautiful blue color with golden ornaments stitched to it. And it’d fit me perfectly! Making me feel really Mongolian.
The mountain area itself looked stunning. With many pine trees and the soil covered in snow. The bright morning sun was shining through the trees and warming our faces. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the scenery. We had a lot of fun taking pictures at the yurt camp site, before we started hiking.
At the beginning of the hike the temperature felt really cold. Especially when we hadn’t reached the trees yet it felt like my face was about to freeze off! Later on, when the trees gave us some shelter, it got much better and also the hiking made me warm up fast. Nayamushka taught me that many Mongolians go to the mountain in the weekend for a hike to enjoy nature and to stay fit. Since October this year, hiking meetings are organized every weekend of the year. Making it crowded on the mountain during the weekend.
After about an hour we sat down to have a short snack. Before eating, Nayamushka crumbled some cookies and threw it around. She invited me to do the same, saying it’s a way to give back to nature. Quite cool I think 🙂 The birds appreciated our gift.
Because Nayamushka had a job interview in the afternoon we couldn’t continue our hike. Instead we slowly returned back towards the car. Making some last pictures and enjoying the scenery. Just before exiting the forest we saw two black squirrels. I’d never seen black squirrels before so thought that was quite special. Even though I tried, they were too fast for me to capture in a picture.
When we drove back to Ulaanbaatar there was a huge traffic jam due to an accident. We got stuck in it and it took us some effort to get out of it. Making hand gestures and pushing our car through. Mongolians really just drive quite egoistic. Not following the rules and driving quite rude. They didn’t give us any space even though they could see we were stuck.
We managed to get out of the jam and parked at an illegal space. I got out of the car and Nayamushka drove home to prepare her interview.
I finally collected my train ticket to Beijing! Gives a good feeling knowing I’ve got the ticket now :)! and had a Mongolian soup with meat dumplings and milk tea as a lunch. The rest of the day I spend writing stories and sleeping! Love the lazy ending after this active start.