This is Day 6 of our Seven Day Road Trip into the Gobi Desert. We woke up at 6:20 AM again for the sunrise and the weather was cold but not uncomfortable because it wasn’t windy. There was frost on the ground as the temperature was several degrees below freezing. We could already see that we wouldn’t be able to see the sunrise yet again because of the cloud cover, but we didn’t really care (it turned out we did see a small sunrise above the lower clouds). We were out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by small grassy and rocky hills.
We walked about 15 minutes to a stupa on one of the highest hills where we walked around the stupa 3 times for luck in Buddhist tradition and hung out on the hill as it started snowing. We walked back and had our breakfast. We then drove for 20 minutes to our second and final shower on the trip. This wasn’t as exciting as the first time but it was nice to feel the heat from the hot water.
We then drove to lunch followed by a visit to ancient paintings at the L Mountain Petroglyphs. These were inscribed in Rocks in 2000 BC and are drawings mainly of animals as well as people. It was incredible to be at an ancient site like this with no other tourists around and ancient drawings that were not sealed off, but that could be touched.
We then went to our Ger and met with the host family. Quan bonded with the grandmother who was visiting and did not live there. Quan thought the grandma looked like her own grandmother and showed her pictures and video of the trip thus far. Quan liked her so much she even filmed her walking to the outhouse:
For our last night we were served a Mongolian barbecue of goat meat, which was a celebration for our last day on the trip. Mongolian families typically only have this barbecue once or twice each year as it is a special feast known as a Khorkhog. We watched as it was prepared, water was put at the bottom of the pot so nothing would stick with a base layer of goat bones to prevent sticking as well. Along with the goat meat, Rocks from the river are heated in the oven then put in the dish to make it extra hot. The only seasoning used are black peppers, onions and salt as nomads don’t typically have the luxury of different spices. The food cooked in the pot for an hour before dinner.
The food was delicious consisting mainly of BBQ goat meat and potatoes. As part of the meal, Davka, our driver came around and presented a shot of Chinggis Khan Vodka (what Westerners pronounce Genghis Khan, is actually pronounced Chinggis Khan in Mongolian) for everyone to drink which included himself, our guide Aya, our chef, and the other driver George. The shots went around the room until the bottle was finished. Our Mongolian staff then sang a song to us: We then followed that up with a song of our own, not sung as well:
Rinchen decided to whip out her bottle of vodka, and thinking that he was already drunk Jesse drank the entire bottle with Rinchen and chatted for several hours with her and other people in the Ger while they were slipping in and out of consciousness. Everyone was asleep by 1 AM, and probably because of the vodka everyone slept well and stayed warm.
Day 7: White Stupa