Sunday, September 5, 2010

Marmots, Mountains + Mosques

A couple of weeks ago I hit the western-most province of Mongolia, Bayan-Ulgii, with my buddy Katherine. The area borders both China + Russia and is very close to Kazakhstan. Its population is largely Kazakh Mongols and as such, Mongolian isn't the first language for many people out there. It is many kinds of awesome.

We spent a night with a beautiful Tuvan family near the Tavan Bogd mountain range before riding horses to scope a glacier. We watched our driver (who spoke Mongolian, Russian, Kazakh, Tuvan, Uzbek, Kyrgyz + some Chinese but no English) attempt to shoot and kill a marmot. Apparently many have the plague (yes, the mutha trucking bubonic plague best known for its appearance in ye olde medieval England) but we ate one anyway that was cooked in the traditional khorkhog manner. Mmmm. Plague flavour. Delicious.

I got to shoot a gun for the first time and we also warded off potential serial killers and a whole lot of mosquitoes with pepper spray... the gun probably would have been more effective.

It's clearly obvious I have just discovered iMovie on my computer, so here's a video extravaganza of our trip:

And a few shots of the town of Ulgii + Tavan Bogd. Many more pics on Flickr.

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