So. The start of a grand new adventure begins… Fingers crossed we are ready!
I have a very pretty but apparently bureaucratically useless Mongolian visa in my passport. Only £100…. Clearly a bargain.
I have lost count of the number of needles I have been subjected to (& paid for) in the past month, but I’m sure I will be very grateful for the magic of modern medicine men (& women) that allows me to traverse the wilds (urban, desert, steppes and mountains) of Mongolia, without fearing for my life with the contact of unpasteurised milk, deadly ticks (those wily bastards), and unexpected attacks from rabid dogs (is there any other kind???). In any case the (abridged) version of my vaccination program is as follows: tetanus, diphtheria and polio; hepatitis A & B; rabies; tick bourne encephalitis; typhoid; and that’s it…. Typhoid hurt like a motherf****r! Think ‘dead arm’ from a needle. Yeah I know right?!? & the last rabies jab has given me a very interesting triskele shaped rash… At least I’m covered for India as well now. (Only 6 more needles for then….sigh. But that’s another story for another day.)
I think my backpack is big enough… I’m not sure we have packed enough toilet roll/fruit & nut/granola bars to supply the entire population of modern Mongolia but we gave it the good old fashioned college try. Here’s hoping the boys will be grateful for their extra super special brand spanking new shiny socks and pants. Oh the excitement. Not to mention the exhaust pipe part (!?!) that we are also stowing away in our Air China hold… But hey it only weighs a quarter of our weight entitlement (& who really needs their body weight in trail mix anyway right?)
For those of you who may be wondering why the pre-eminence, bordering on obsession with dried food stuffs in our luggage then being taken half way across the globe… The diet of the traditionally nomadic mongols consists heavily of meats and dairy (from what we can garner from our internet research). This poses somewhat of a dietary and nutritional obstacle to my mother, being a vegetarian and all… Hence all the ‘flora’ based roughage we have essentially panic bought and will no doubt hoard as though we will never again see an edible plant based life form for the substantially foreseeable future… *insert breath here*
Some people are just fussy. That’s what I say.
I should know, I’m one of them…! No more salads for we…
Anyway, peace out and all that jazz. Next stop Gatwick, followed by a short and no doubt fabulously comfortable 10 hour flight to Beijing airport (NB to self. Must remind pilot to avoid Ukranian air space…) then a mere hop skip and a jump away to Ulanbatar, where our all expenses paid youth hostel awaits… My drongo (or should that be mongo) of a brother has been neither seen nor heard from for a few weeks… We assume he has simply been seduced by the majestic beauty and unspoiled serenity of the National parks, lakes, steppes and amaze balls Buddhist temples, and badassery that was Ghengis Khan and Kublai Khans empire. That or he’s lost track of the days of the week. Your guess is as good as mine quite frankly.
So…I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again. But babe I have to go… And get this bastard song out of my head!!!