Our last night in Ulaanbaatar was rough. Woke at midnight by Avi who had to go potty. He then came to sleep with me while Bryan went to the top bunk with Zoe. Good thing.
Avi woke again around 230 to throw up. I quickly grabbed a towel for him. Poor guy threw up his whole dinner and lunch. Woke up twice more for more vomit. Got him to drink some water and he fell asleep for a while until we needed to be waking.
At 0500 and again at 0515 the alarm went off. We packed last night but still needed to finish up. I carried Avi out to taxi hoping he would stay asleep. Sadly he didn’t, and felt nauseous in the car but didn’t puke. At the aiport, though, as soon as we were dropped off he had more come up. It wasn’t a lot and he gave me warning so I dropped my bag and grabbed a wet wipe for him to puke into.
Happy Birthday Avi.
Checked in for our flight and sat down to relax. He was just resting on me and felt like vomit again so we ran to the bathroom where he went again. A nice customs agent lady helped us and got him a bottle of water and wrapped his shirt around his waste tightly which was supposed to help.
No luck. On the plane he puked again in a cup before we took off and then promptly fell asleep. Thank goodness! It was a small prop plane down to Dalanzadgad in the Gobi desert. Bryan and I made mental changes of plans on the way since Avi was so yucky. But then he woke up after landing, ate a chocolate covered cake from the snack service and ran around with Zoe out front of the tiny one-room airport. He said he felt great and wanted to camp.
OK! But where was our driver!? Not here. A nice lady called the Golden Gobi for us and eventually we found they were on their way… Quite late.
Turns out the Russian jeep needed repairs and it took longer than he thought. So our driver Bahggy and his buddy got us in his buddy’s nice Subaru. We were taken to two groceries to get supplies and then the apothecary for some motion sickness drug for Avi just in case. He never puked again.
Two days – two drug stores! My finger is doing well after I got a traditional Mongolian powder for it last night. Like most of the world, all the “over the counter” drugs must actually come over a counter from a pharmacist who helps you make the right diagnosis and choice. Well I showed her my finger – which I shocked very badly with an extension cord at home on Friday just before we left Korea; so bad I had to use my left hand to remove my right which had clamped down to the electric current – there was a small but quickly turning puffy cut. She handed me a tiny bottle which cost $3. At the guesthouse, Bob told me that the directions said to clean it out super good with alcohol, clear the scab, and pack the powder from the tiny bottle into the cut and bandage it shut. Alright! It is much better today… so here in our tent I’ve just redone it hoping for more success in healing.
Anyway, we did make it out here to the desert. After waiting at Bahggys house for a bit, and having some milk tea and meat-with-rice with his mother, we were on our way in a super busted up, but nicely rigged old russian jeep-like vehicle.
The drive was desolate. We could see forever, lots if rocks and mountains of rocks, plus some gers out amongst the scrubby grass on the rocks. Up over one rocky pass, though, things got green and dramatic.
This is Gurvan National pPrk and our destination was Yolyn Am, the ice canyon. Enroute we stopped at a weird little museum filled with taxidermy. Avi loved it, Zoe whined when she saw the display of an eagle with a rabbit in its talons.
We could drive close to the canyon but had to walk the final 2km. It was quite pleasant and super funny because of all the pika running around. These are little rodents – like a rabbit and a groundhog but the size of a guinea pig. They were hysterical carting big bundles of grass and zipping and squeaking about. Avi complained a bit about the hike until we merged with a creek he could jump over all the time. Zoe did well watching the pika bit also got tired until we entered the narrow gorge where there was still ice!! A few big chunks of dirty ice in the Gobi in August!!
Hiking out was pleasant and warm as the sun came out from behind clouds. The kids were promised lollipops which sped up their feet.
Now we have driven down an adjacent canyon called Dungeree that gets almost as narrow, but we will go through that in the jeep tomorrow. It’s been a bumpy fun jeep trail of a ride and promises to get crazier. For this evening we found a great grassy green bank and camped out.
There was an awkward moment when we realized our driver didn’t have food and expected to share ours. I was told by Golden Gobi Tours that he provided his own and I guess they just didn’t fill him in. Poor guy. We shared of course! It was just all quite awkward as he doesn’t speak much English either and thought the tour company gave us money to cover his food. We will figure it out!
Tonight we enjoyed some downtime around the tent, walking up the slope, checking out a small cave, throwing rocks in the creek, and Avi and Bryan went on another walk down the canyon! Started out a little rough here in the Gobi, but we are comfy and cozy in our tent and ready for some dunes tomorrow.
After a loooooooong drive.