the road in Mongolia
Today is my first day outside to the countryside. I met Jeff, Sian. They are Welchs. It seems that George has been a really good partner. He befiended Sian before I could. We took the pave road for about 2 hours or so, and then we reached the dirt road. The road was slightly muddy. We slip and slide our way through the green gentle rollling steppe dotted with the white, black, brown of the domesticated goats, sheeps and occasional eagles resting by the water hole. There isn't a single road sign or a house along our way. The world was fading away as we drove on. We, the tourists, were looking for some structures at the end of the horizon, only to discover there aren't anything but green flat hill all around. Around 2, upon seeing some rocky hills, we decided to take a break from driving and have lunch. Our lunch spot was by a small lake where the domesticated horses and goats gathered.
our mini van
The grass here is much rougher than their northern counterpart. The flowers are small. We stopped at the foot of a rocky hill by the lake where the animals graze. The rocky hill with giant slab of stones angled at 45 degrees is the remains of a mountain eroded by time. I climbed up the hill in search for some lost species in time. Instead, I found green lichen cling to the rock. A few thorny bushes forced their ways through the cracks of the rocks. A tiny amount of water left from the rain dropped down the giant rock. I was determined to get to the top. Half way though, I looked down, it was a near vertical drop so, I decided to rest midway. A giant black ant came out of nowhere, angered that I stop his path. So, I moved to another rock. Behind this rock was a pleasant surprise! Chives!!! I love chives.
They are so aromatic, fresh not overwhelmingly strong like their cousin, onion and garlic. These small, slender, sleek stalks were too delicious. I have to uproot a few for lunch. I brought down the chives and Ugetna was surprise to see me put it in my food. She said, that is what the animals eat and they are everywhere in the Gobi. I explained to her that in the U.S. it’s really expensive. Yet, in Vietnam it’s a breakfast herb for all kinds of rice cake dishes.
our driver Tsengel and guide Ugetna. This is how we keep the van ventilated.