Signs of Spring

As usual its been a long time. The more time i spend here the more life becomes normal and i dont know what to write about.

Its kinda Spring now, except for the snow which we awake to everynow and then, this makes me sink to be honest, i think they are overdoing it, 6months of winter was more than enough. My winter clothes are falling apart and cant take anymore, holes are appearing in my trousers where i would prefer there werent holes and so i want to bring out the summer clothes and start making holes in them. Please, please, please bring us the Summer already!!! (However today we had great weather)

Signs of Spring

My work is as usual bizarre, im approaching the end now, just under 3 months to go and my plans have had to change so many times that now there is no plan, just go in everyday and take it a day at a time, there is nothing more i can do. To be honest my energy is decreasing but i push on through. We have had good news after alot of bad news though. The factory has had many financial problems and capacity has shrunk but we have at last made a sale with the outside world, yippeee. There may even be more to come, fingers crossed. I just hope that the sales keep coming, there is a complete lack of forward and preventative thinking here, each day is taken as it comes and there should be more looking forward and planning so big problems can be prevented but this is the way and you have to accept somethings.

Despite the lack of Summer we have been hiking as often as possible, i even went on a 2 day hike and camp. I was told it would be cold at night, -5, which isnt bad and that i would need a sleeping bag to deal with the cold. I dont have a winter sleeping bag but still i wanted to go, nothing was going to stop me i had made up my mind. So on a Saturday morning about 10 of us set off in a van to Mansushir, a monastery South of the city and the beginning of  hike trail up to Tse Tse Gun a huge Ovoo i had visited previously. It was pretty fricking windy and cold and we had our overnight ruck sacks too to carry. This was however the easiest part of the trip as there was a trail!

At the top, in the howling wind we had lunch, hiding underneath a big rock, i didnt even look at the views as the wind was so cold. I was wondering how i would ever make the rest of the trip and now was the moment to decide as only 4 of the others were going to conitnue on the walk and the rest were going to get the van back to UB. I decided to stay and begin the long walk back to UB ahhhhh!!!

The endless Boulders

A deserved rest

Shattered

And so it began, no trails, not even flat ground but climbing over boulders for hours some covered in slippery moss, a few swamps to add to the excitement and then heading into a forest to find flat ground to camp for the night. There wasnt any flat ground but we found areas relatively flat to set up the tents.

The Camp site

We spent the evening cooking around the camp fire and chatting, getting burnt by sparks and swamped by smoke, but as it was starting to get cold hugging the fire was the only way to be. Finally we went to bed around 10 and i managed to sleep straight away, however i awoke needing the toilet, clambered out of the tent into the woods hoping not to encounter any animals, then went back to my sleeping bag and i could not sleep at all, even with 4 or 5 layers including yak trousers, it felt like i did not sleep all night because of the cold, i just lay awake waiting for dawn which came at 6am, i got up and everyone else was sound asleep and i tried to light the fire. This was my first ever attempt of making a fire but i was not successful, i thought i had seen enough fires lit to know how but no not a chance. I just had to wait for someone else to wake up and help me out, which happened about 30mins later. Finally the fire was going, we had breakfast, packed up the tents and set off again for another 6 hours, over boulders again,

More Boulders

Bananas or poo?

The distant peak where we had come from

thankfully no steep ascents until the end, the final hurdle to get to the city. We rested just before then went up in one go all the way to the top where we had lunch then the final stretch to the city and of course to the Irish pub for a deserved drink ahhh.

Descent to the city

The Hikers

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About rdamm

I am about to embark upon a V.S.O. placement for one year in UB, Mongolia. I shall be working as a textile designer at Mongol Nekhmel, a textile company that produces cashmere, yak and camel hair clothing and homeware. I shall be sharing the skills i have gained in the last 10 years as a designer, creating connections and helping to open-up the products to the European and Japanese markets, therefore hopefully assisting to bring herding communities out of poverty. The views expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of V.S.O. www.vso.org.uk www.vsointernational.org
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