After a freezing night in the holding pen, with the night silence punctuated with the unmistakable sound of howling wolves, we were very ready for our first day in Mongolia. We did have to wait however, and after much waiting, we were once again on our way! We had decided to convoy with the St Andrews team, a delightful bunch of students from across Europe, and set out on our first taste of Mongolian ‘roads’. The basic definition of a road here is a long, narrow piece of land with less grass than the surrounding area, but can vary from smooth sandy track to incredibly jolting stony road. There are usually several ‘roads’ next to each other where other road users have decided that the grass was a more attractive option than the current road.
30 minutes into our Journey we were stopped by a friendly local on a motorbike, who was brave enough to let Ian have his first ever go on a motorbike! He led us back to his Ger and house and insisted upon us joining him for dinner and even offering us and the St Andrews team a place to sleep. After much tea and a delicious Pasta and Yak meal, we started on the fermented horse milk before heading on to the vodka and beer. They also introduced us to the local custom of not leaving the table unless your drink was finished, leading Matt to quickly down a bowl of vodka before he was allowed to leave!
After many drinks and exchanging local music tastes (we went for Wonderwall, a classic!) we slept pretty well!