Right. Today was checking one another out and I actually like the way this city works day.
It was also the day of last good normal breakfast day (lots of “Boiled Eggs 10 min”, I am serious – that is what it is labeled). We had pre-race training day 1. Rout layout and explanation (maps handed out) GPS’s handed in for waypoint loading. And here I started to get a bit worried, as they have kept them overnight to recheck them. Mmmmmmm….. At least rout looks fairly straight forward if you paid attention today. Vet charts and Rider field handbook with even the Uurtu families at each stations name in (unpronounceable!) and latitude and longitude. Penalty system explained again, and I hope I never fall prey to that one. Medical team Dr talk – SO glad I am off duty!!
A very mixed bunch to say the least. From Thomas from Texas who is planning to ride alone and calls himself The Lone Ranger, Alexander from England whose luggage has STILL not arrived (he came via Berlin!?!?), Todd from Australia who is VERY difficult to understand, and thank goodness I am not the only galloping granny! Some riders have a few years on me. Some fiercely competitive (can be quite daunting so we are just avoiding them), but overall a great bunch of people.
Most of us were off to another night out. We organized a taxi as it was located on the other side of town, had a very interesting ride with driver not really knowing where he was supposed to go. All we heard constantly was lots of Mongolian jabber with the restaurant’s name coming up every second sentence. A few back up’s out of shortcuts that ended being more clogged up than the main road, lots of hooting, lots of driving in circles, but eventually we got there – with a stiff taxi fare to pay. Ah, Mongolia.
Again great Indian food (seems to be the safest and most popular) good beer, lots of jest, walking right through a construction site (Babes, Health and Safety would have had a field day) but the construction workers helped us over the danger tape and guided us nicely past the deep trenches. Hit the main road and started to hitch a taxi. And you really just flag anyone down. 20 seconds flat and we were on our way back to the hotel, got there super fast and paid a third of the previous taxi fare. The driver even offered us sweets. I ate mine, Barabara kept an eye on me to see if I had any adverse reaction and then had hers. This city really works well in it’s own way.
So tomorrow morning we are off to the steppe. This is for now my last blog. Hopefully my Mongolian phone will work from there, so check The Adventurists site for further news (Mongol Derby 2013). I have sent most of you the link.
COURAGE IS GRACE UNDER PRESSURE!!!