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….