by Rensina van den Heuvel – Copyright 2013
Sitting just outside the marketplace in Olgii, in the far west of Mongolia, it’s as dry as dead dingo’s tongue. I can taste the dust lodging in my nose, sinuses and throat again. I feel as though, I am still trying to recuperate from the last dust storm and again, it becomes hard to breathe.
A cream colored, slightly battered Russian jeep is parked in front of our Land Rover. The sound of a loud engine interrupts my thoughts, as a man arrives astride another Russian gem, a Ural motorbike with a sidecar. A plump woman is perched on the edge of it.
Inside the sidecar, there are three adult goats all bleating away, tucked next to each other like sardines in a can. Allen and I both watch with astonished interest, as each goat is lifted out of their comfy transport and put into a big white bag, like one of those fertilizer bags. It’s then tied in, with just its head sticking out. Read more
The diminutive figure of a Mongolian woman came wading across the icy river near where we were camped. Holding her boots up high, fast flowing, foamy rapids threatened to swamp her as she struggled to find her footing. Pulling herself up onto the bank a few metres from where I was standing, she looked up at me, smiled a weathered grin and pulled her herder’s boots back on.
I smiled a big greeting back to her then greeted her with the Mongolian equivalent of hello. “Sain bainu”. “Say sain bainu” she said back to me, her eyes crinkling up at the corners. Read more
Rensina Heuvel writes about a scary moment in Mongolia
Mongolia this year at the end of September and we are usually well on our way home, back to Australia. We were still in Western Mongolia, driving the seventeen hundred kilometres back to Ulan Bataar. The weather turned without warning as it can and often does at that time of the year. It snowed. We had planned to cut across to Tserserleg, over a mountain pass, to cut off 100 kilometres, to get back to the capital as soon as possible. Read more