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Dalanzadgad, Ömnögovi aimag capital

Saturday 9th July

We drove west, to the foothills of "the Three Beauties", the mountains we had circumnavigated over the previous two days. The ger we visited was rather flash and well set up for tourists, with photos, souvenirs, traditional deels for visitors to be photographed in, etc, but the bulk of their money would have come from their goats, not from tourism.

We were served dairy snacks, as always when visiting a ger, and this time I got some kind of vomit-tasting curd which I gamefully swallowed and washed down with milk tea.

After Gabi and Bolormaa went off on a camel ride, Peter and I watched a goat being killed. A small cut with a tiny knife, then the man put his hand inside and squeezed the heart - and the goat was dead so fast I barely managed to photograph it.

the camels being fetched
a goat to the slaughter

Gaana then drove Peter and me into the hills where a small trickle ran down through a valley and then disappeared into the sand before reaching the plains. We did a short walk, climbing up a small hill.

It was hot but breezy, with clouds and mirages. We went back to our camp and after lunch we drove to Dalanzadgad. There we hunted down a toilet in an old theatre, then visited the museum which had some decent natural and local history exhibits.

Dalanzadgad wall
Dalanzadgad girl
Dalanzadgad family

Gabi and Peter
We looked around some shops, a market, and a supermarket (where the cashier tried to pull a fast one on me with a 500 note instead of a 5000). Then we bought petrol and drove back to camp for our flight back to Ulaanbaatar.

There were great views of the Gobi: large almost trackless areas, with no gers, brown with wadis changing to sandy, flat then dunes, brown again, squarish lines, an oasis, scattered gers.

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