My last day at Stepperiders! These two weeks passed far too quick, can hardly believe that it is already time to say good-bye. I am not really ready for leaving, I would love to stay longer, but my flight back home won’t wait for me.
This last day in the camp was a beautiful day, bright sunshine and a slight warm wind, just perfect for a long riding tour with Khisgee, Anna, Andrew and Jo. First a short ride to a nearby ger, where we were offered milk tea, fresh yoghurt and cheese, and watched how the mares were milked. Then off for a six-hour long ride through valleys, over hills, past gers and angry dogs, and herds of horses, sheep, goats and yaks. Without Khisgee, who seems to know every stone in this landscape, we would have been completely lost. Each hill looks the same, and each valley looks similar, and with hills after hills and valleys after valleys it is tough to keep up a sense of direction. The only guide here is the sun!
Tired, thirsty, and exhausted we reached the camp in early evening, where Urnaa had already prepared some dinner for us hungry souls. My knees were aching and I could hardly walk – it would have been better to keep sitting on my horse, instead of walking! But now it was really time to say good-bye to everyone! Maybe I am back again next year?!
The prospect of a warm shower, a soft bed and an Internet connection to the outer world lifted my spirits slightly, but when we arrived at Khara Hotel in Ulaan Baator, we were greatly disappointed. We were offered a lousy room with a half-dirty bathroom and no wifi connection on floor four. This was not exactly what we had expected, but fortunately for an extra 10 USD we could change to floor three, to a large and nice room, a clean bathroom and wifi! The room had only one minor minus – two condoms and half a bottle of stinking red wine had obviously escaped the cleaning staff.
It is a luxurious feeling to being able to take a long warm shower after weeks spent with baby wipes and cold water. And it feels special to being able to sleep in a soft bed, to communicate by mail and to have electricity to charge one’s electronic devices. Yet, one day would have been enough – I could have easily gone back to the camp and spent another two weeks there …..
The last stop before leaving UB for good was the Black Market, and shopping for a dell, shoes, and presents. A dell is a great piece of clothes, pretty, practical and warm, perfect for the cold Swedish winter, and handmade Mongolian boots are excellent for riding, even in Sweden. The Black Market is a place where one can buy what ever is needed for assembling a ger, all kinds of equipment for horses, and all the different attributes a Shaman needs to perform a session, and of course much other stuff. It is easy to spend hours in this bustling place, full of people, goods, exotic smells, craftsmen, toolmakers, sellers and buyers.