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So it has finally happened. I got food poisoning. (Nothing for the whole of India and Nepal but I guess luck runs out) Admittedly Jo did as well so at least I’m not lonely. Misery does love company and the fact she was twelve hours ahead or me allowed me to appreciate how it would unfold.

We think it was the Sri Lankan restaurant, as it served a buffet lunch and then we ate dinner from something that was avaliable all day, so probably had just been heated up.

Heading out of the one city of Mongolia. We were in four land cruisers, big four wheeled beasties, and all headed out for parts unknown, well at least by us. We stopped on the way to have sandwiches on a deserted hilltop and I started to realise how deserted Mongolia is compared to other places. Three days later I can confirm you can stand in flat places, see fifty km in all directions and see no living things. There are herds of goats, camels, horses and sheep and the occassional ger (a domed fabric dwelling, usually white, some people know then as yurts) but these are scattered. The hot sun beats down on the scrubby grass and stony soil and you can usually see mountains in the far distance, but not always. The big thing is there are no trees. That’s why it’s so bleak and open. It’s like another planet.

Anyway we stopped off at another temple and Jo said she felt Ill. Then as I escorted her down to the toilets ( for Mongolian toilet think trench with flies in wooden hut) she threw up. She then did so every twenty minutes for the next two and a half hours, our convoy needing to pull over each time. We also had a few more touresty stops on the way, to see a cave and other things. By the time we got to the ger she just wanted to sleep, so I opened up and dumped our stuff. The gers are nice inside, with two beds in and a large boulder handing from the ceiling by a rope, keeping the wooden struts holding up the walls in place.

I mingled with the others guys and then had to stop the leader of our tour giving Jo a raw egg, a drip or taking her to hospital. Later that night I started to feel nausea myself. Those who know me know I rarely throw up but at four I forced myself to do so. I was also experiencing intermittent service out the other end as well. I used the same bucket as Jo. She has asked me to mention how awesome she was for cleaning it out after, what a trooper. šŸ™‚

Jo felt somewhat better the next day, which was lucky as we had an eight hour journey over bumpy roads. I felt terrible and it was like purgatory for the first hour. Then I stopped the cars to throw up. It was pretty bad. The driver and guide were nice about it though, with the guide stroking my back to help me along. He then offered to bleed me from my finger until I felt better. I declined politely.

Note: Our driver is great. Hes a physics and maths teacher who spent years in the military and retired. Now he drives around tourists for fun. He only speaks Russian though, so I’ve had a few interesting struggles to understand questions and the like. Not that day though. That day I was throwing up.

The next seven hours passed slowly, with a lunch break seeing me sit outside rather than eating in the cafe. Jo was still feeling poorly but had got most of it out her system the day before.

We eventually made it to the next stop at four and I went to sleep waking periodically to, um, you know.

Anyway the next day saw us both on the mend and we went for a 10k walk, as a group, down a gorge. It has a large amount of rats called piccas, which are very cute. They had no fear of people and were frolicking around like no bodies business.

At the bottom of the gorge there was still ice. It was cooler than the over places we had been, but bearing in mind the temperature reached ‘screaming dog hot’ as the Mongolians call it, it was still very surprising.

I could stomach some food by that lunchtime and Jo was eating again as well. The food is very heavy, lots of beef and mutton for mains. That or dumplings. The starters are all coldslawy mixed vedge but without the mayonnaise, which is probably to the good. Jo had her own portions prepped as a vegetarian, but they all look fairly ok as well, of not really varied.

I had a bit of a fever this morning, probably the immune system kicking in too hard, well when you have so many white blood cells… And so we missed the sand climb (biggest sand dunes in the world, very hard to climb though, some of the group didn’t get up fully fit). We also missed camel riding, which we had done in Feb. Jo did some painting and I read.

Feeling back to fighting fit finally, we have stopped for the night now and are visiting the flaming cliffs. These glow at night and so we are heading down after dinner.

Taking of night the stars here are epic. It’s so empty and lightless you can see everything. Probably worth a trip here just to look at the sky with awe.

Anyways laters potatoes.

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