Mongolia Journal ~ Storm shower

How long until we can go travelling again? Facebook has been torturing me with “memories” of all the trips I’ve done during October in past years. So I’ve decided to catch up on my travel blogging.

It’s so hard to believe my Mongolian horse trek was FIVE years ago. It didn’t take place in October, but there are still some entries I haven’t written up yet, so I’m pressing on with my Mongolia Journal. The last entry was over a year ago. I’ve been a bit slack!

I actually wrote a post about riding in the storm shortly after we returned five years ago, so you might like to check that one out too. I’ve included additional photos in this one.

This is the closest to international travel we’ll get for a while, I dare say…

5 July 2015

Mid-afternoon — Horse trek day 11

We’ve stopped a little early today. It’s our lunch stop and final campsite all in one. This is because… we’re having a shower this afternoon! (Can. Not. Wait.)

A shower will be particularly welcome, because we have just put up our tent amid thunder and hail.

We were riding headlong into the building storm clouds for about an hour. But I don’t think we realised what we were about to experience…

Storm on the horizon…
We stopped to water the horses along the way.

So, there we were riding along a broad, flat stretch of steppe. I was singing all the rain songs I could think of. We were pretty sure we were about to get wet.

Into the storm… Half an hour later we were putting up a tent in a hail storm

Just before the sky burst, the lunch/camp stop was declared. K and I looked at each other. There was nothing but flat flat flat, no cover at all. But our tent came out of the car, and we set about putting it up. “We need to be quick!” we said, and then the rain came down.

The rain started off light as we scrambled to get the poles in, the fly over the top. Then it bucketed down. Total torrential downpour. We scampered madly, banging in pegs. Then the HAIL came.

It was actually exhilarating.

At one point, the tent started to collapse, because we were also rushing and battling wind. We struggled to right one of the curved tent poles.

Finally the tent was up, the hail stopped (but not the rain), and were (of course) soaking wet.

This is what happens when you put up tents during hail storms.

We stood around in the rain for a while, too wet to do much else. When it looked like more heavy rain was coming, we clambered into the wet tent, wet gear, boots and all. We sat there, listening to the most resonant thunder…

Eventually the storm passed and the sun came out. Burmaa helped us dry the inside of our tent. We changed into dry clothes and left all our wet stuff hanging around as we waited for our lunch to be cooked. All in all, it was rather epic — the only casualty being K’s insta-camera.

After the storm…

Right now we’re in a nearby town, sitting in a modest bar/hotel, where there is a shower — currently occupied. While waiting, we tried to have a gin and tonic (not available), then red wine (not available). We could have had vodka (um, no). K is having beer, but I’m not really a beer drinker. So I’ve got water. How boring.

OK, so I’m drinking a local Mongolian beer now too. It doesn’t taste too bad, actually!

Evening — Day 11

I have clean hair! Clean skin! Huzzah! We finally got into the shower and it was so so good. Now we only have survive a few more days before we’re back in civilisation and can have showers every day.

It’s now about 8pm and we’re hiding in the tent from the wind, which is cold. Most of our stuff managed to dry in the sun and wind. While waiting for our dinner (they feed us very late), we are drinking peppermint tea.

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