Trip to Mongolia Part 2.

Less than 5 minutes and a good mile later on, the bus pulled off the street and into what were a good garbage dump. Mounds of discarded plastic material rose up around the edges of the substance and in the centre had been two yurts, the original round houses within Mongolia. Each possessed a crooked steel chimney protruding from the guts of their roofing and a wooden door protected with scraps of colorful fabric arranged in a few sort of artistic design. In it, high, grey, concrete tower blocks scarred the skyline and dwarfed these one-roomed nomadic homes.


It became sharp that this was another bus station and, although much less busy as the prior one, was where almost all of the passengers and plans, had been ready. I was promptly ushered off the bus and viewed as, for another hour, the driver and his boy played Tetris with an increase of luggage than I thought practical to cram onto the bus. The seats at the trunk had been pulled up and folded apart to create space for enormous sacks of corn and rice, dark brown cardboard boxes and major bags.
The flooring of the bus was also pulled up, and a variety of bags were located where it turned out and then covered by the flooring that was replaced on top. Cavities under seats were packed tightly and leg area was given up in favor of yet even more luggage. Every in . of space was used and once everything was in, solid straps were used to secure everything into place. Finally, seats that had been removed from the back of the bus were unfolded and precariously balanced in the right now raised aisle – extra seating for extra people.
After a final stop at the first of many long-drop toilets, hidden from view by only a thin sheet of corrugated iron, I was motioned to get back on the bus. I was directed to a seat on what was now the back row, thanks to all the luggage behind it, beside the window. At first I was thrilled – I got a front side row seat to the universe as I watched it go by. I was quickly reminded of a trip I took with my Scottsdale electrician friend when we went for  a joyride with my parents’ car. Nevertheless, I quickly recognized that the windowpane was both a blessing and a curse.

Trip to Mongolia

I started my trip from Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, the only real connection point for most of the country’s transport network – much like the center of a spider’s web. Except unlike a spider’s internet, which is normally extraordinarily neat at its center point, the bus station there was anything but. It consisted not of a building with bus terminals, as most bus stations on the planet, but as a series of parking plenty, each one more chaotic than the last.
It was October and winter was just beginning to take hold. It experienced snowed two days previous. On the day I arrived, the once white colored snow was now covered in a layer of black coal dust and grime. Every breath I required seared the insides of my lungs with chilly weather and despite my heavy, down jacket, I possibly could not keep my body high temperature from escaping in to the chill of the exterior air.
My spouse and i had booked my ticket to Bayan-Ölgii, a town in the much westernmost portion of the country, your day before and today grasped the flimsy little bit of pink paper in my own slowly reddening hand. Struggling to seem sensible of the confusion, I confirmed my ticket to several locals and allowed them to immediate and instruction me until I was position in the third & most chaotic parking large amount of all.
The buses, mostly old and decrepit with an increase of repairs than original material kept, were parked at haphazard angles on either area of the dirt ground. Buses lurched and rolled over potholes how big is small ponds which were filled with a variety of slush, ice and mud. Multiple vehicle needed to be pushed and pulled out as tires period and spat blackened ice all over the place.
But somehow, amid the disarray, the bus We was looking forward to arrived a couple of minutes before it was scheduled to leave, and it parked up best next to where I was waiting. How the locals had regarded where I should stand I have no idea, but thanks to them I was able to find and table my bus.
To my surprise, I was one of only four passengers to table the bus, and we were quickly on our way. Or so I thought.

 

To be continued….