Day 3, July 21st – Ulaan Baatar

We had an interesting day today. Will, Alex, Leslie and I went to the bus depot in an attempt to find a bus for the trek beginning next week. Not too successful, but we have hope.

We have been relying on a French restaurant for takeaways and pastries, and a deli for takeaway dinners. Pretty good chips!

The hostel that World Challenge has arranged for us to stay in has gers in the backyard, with wooden floors and bedsteads. They are cool in the day and warm during the night, but the lavatories, though they are ‘sitters’, keep breaking down. One of the lavatories doubles as the only shower for guests, meaning queues to use it and a very confined space to wash in.

Ulaan Baatar is incredibly hot, but very cheap – we got into an internet cafe and had an hour for 400 togros – something like 40 pence! Later, our group went to the post office and bought post cards ad stamps, and a souvenir for my sister.

When the members of our team who went to Ulaan Baatar’s Black Market to purchase pots and pans for cooking came back, Emma had been pick pocketed! But it was only a piece of paper from her back pocket that she’d put there as a test. Thank goodness for money belts.

We bought supplies for the project that will begin tomorrow. Lots of food and pots, and some large plastics bowels for washing vegetables, clothes and ourselves.

I washed my hair in the sink in the hostel. Getting used to sponge bathing, as well as sterilised water! We have organised to stay here again when we return from the summer camp, and before we set off on the trek section of our journey.

Tonight, we visited something you are able to find even in the depths of central Asia – an Irish pub, complete with Cher music.

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