“Bee-amerikas-earsun” means “I’m from America!”
It is now our 9th day in Mongolia and we are just going to spend the day at the Steppe Riders camp. We got a treat for breakfast… Fried bread and spreads!
Urna told us there was a group of tourists coming to camp to ride horses for the day and asked if we wanted to ride too. I decided to go for it. Why not one last ride on the horses! When the group got there, I showed where to put on the oh-so-fashionable helmets and chaps! Then we were off… The ride was intense and pretty scary!! Borka and Oochay (the horsemen) would ride up behind our horses and yell and poke our horses with sticks to make them go faster. The horses were running at full speed, as fast as they could possibly go it seemed like. It was very hard to keep control. Most of the ride I was holding on and just trying to stay on the horse. It was scariest when we were coming to a ditch and the horse didn’t slow down, just jumped at full speed right over it and when Borka or Oochay would come up beside our horse and our horses would turn a little bit. It reminded me of when my horse took a sudden turn and I almost fell off. Thank God we all made it back to camp safely, but I was DONE with horses after that!
We decided to spend the night at a hostel that night instead of staying at Steppe Riders that night. There was a little disagreement about money issues between us and the guys that run Steppe Riders. After some arguing and a failed attempt at trying to make amends with them, we decided it was a lost cause and didn’t want to spend anymore time there for fear of more tension and stress. Plus, we wanted to take a shower!
We chose to stay at the same hostel as the tourists that came to camp that day. They were mostly from London and turns out, had just finished the Mongol Rally, which is a car rally that starts in the United Kingdom and ends in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia! The teams are usually made up of 2-4 people and they drive little beater cars. Teams can take any route they like, but the journey is about 10,000 miles… That is one heck of a road trip. We rode into the city in the van on the lovely “paved” roads, which is always a lovely adventure. Urna rode into the city with us so she could hang out with some friends for the night. After we got one of the last rooms at the hostel, Karima and I were so excited to shower!! At this point, I had gone 10 days without showering! That is a record for me. The shower at the hostel was absolutely FREEZING!!! It was as if someone was pouring ice water on me the entire time. I didn’t realize how bad I smelled until I was clean again. Though I was extremely happy to be clean, I can say, without a doubt, say I did NOT enjoy the shower!