Week 20-21

Still plodding my way through Mongolia and enjoying the freedom of the wide open spaces. Although, as you’ll see from the video, the scale of this country really means I have to be better at planning! Food and water are not as readily available as they had been through China and even going through the desert in Uzbekistan didn’t require as much preplanning! Lessons learnt on many different aspects. Distances between hotel/guesthouse stops have doubled, which I’m happy about, as long as I have water and fuel!

I’m no bird watcher but one thing which is particularly interesting about the country so far is the huge number of large birds I’ve seen. The Birds of Prey that circle so low and rule the land! My phone doesn’t capture them unfortunately but they are very impressive, especially when I haven’t seen one and then a large shadow moves across the road in front of me and I look up to see this vast wing span!

When I was told about the number of empty vodka bottles that lined the roads in Mongolia, I put it down to exaggeration. But it really is impressive. I’ve seen hundreds, even collections of 3-4 in one drop. It was similar in SW Kazakhstan, and my only assumption is that the rural cattle herding communities are so cut off from amenities that alcohol is a past time.

I’ll put some pictures below, but there have been some incredible sunrises and sunsets; they make taking photos very easy!

I’m still behind in the videos and have another video half done. I’ve got 4 more days of cycling before I get to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, where I’ll be stopping for a couple of days.

(lastly, only rewatching the videos have I realised how bad my helmet tan lines have got!! Must work harder on the sun cream!)

6 comments

  1. Rosamund · Sep 16

    Hi Kez, how crystal clear the viz is in Mongolia. Takes me back. I expect you have seen golden eagkes, which the Mongolians and the Kazakhs use for hunting. They capture them from a nest, rear them, tame them and train them, even taking them into their fees to live with them. They release them back into the wild when they are about 7 to breed. The other huge bird you might see if you are lucky is the lammergeier, a type of vulture which a feathered head.It is a magnificent and rare bird.

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  2. Ros · Sep 16

    Here – annoying auto correct! Gers not fees. And eagles not eagkes! I remember there were a lot of Steppe Eagles and other large birds of prey. If you are seeing quite a lot, that means there are a lot of small mammals around like voles and marmots which, incidentally, carry the plague so don’t eat any or cosy up to them on chilly nights!! 😄

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    • keziajukes4368 · Sep 16

      Hi Ros, I’m going to download a identification card for the birds to see if I can recognise any. It’s so funny you say about there being lots of small mammals, it’s something which I keep meaning to try and capture on video. For the last three days, at least, I keep thinking that my bike is squeaking and needs an oil, only to realise it’s just all the mice(or other squeaky animals!) that surround the area. There are holes everywhere. Wow, I didn’t know about them carrying the plague!! I think I remember reading something about the plague in the guide book, but can’t remember at all what it said! Good to know! I try not to put my tent directly on top of any of the holes but I did cover one up with a large stone a couple of days ago! There was actually the bird festival in the NW of the country a couple of weeks ago. Wish I could have gone, but I would have been way too far out of my way. Thanks for all the info. A couple of weeks left in Mongolia now before heading back into China. I guess as I get closer to Ulaanbaatar and then into the Gobi desert I’ll probably see less birds unfortunately, but fingers crossed. Kezia x

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  3. John C. · Sep 16

    Another fantastic video Kezia. What an amazing area. A challenging environment, but very rewarding to be there.
    You are doing really well. Looking forward to the next posts ! Take care. John C.

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  4. Anna · Sep 17

    Lovely video again but you certainly had to weather the wind by the sound it was making.. keep safe as always…

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