Mongolia #19 Day 9 of the Trek (04/10/15 )

More competitions were organised for the Eagle Festival but we had woken to a wild, windy day with dust blowing everywhere. So the group decided that the morning could be better spent exploring Olgii town, particularly the market.  I believe there was an ulterior motive on the part of some of the group… shopping perhaps!

DSC02150 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02150 © DY of jtdytravels

However, the ‘shoppers’ didn’t find much in this part of the market to their liking!  They were soon off to see if they could find crafts and cashmere.

DSC02151 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02151 © DY of jtdytravels

 I found the market most interesting.  In the leather section, I even found tins of Korean made “Kangaroo Brand” shoe polish. It brought back memories of the last time I was in Mongolia.  Damn good polish it proved to be as well.

DSC02152 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02152 © DY of jtdytravels

It was no use looking for cashmere amongst these rolls of brightly colourful linoleum.

This was not a market for tourists but for the locals…  their needs paramount.

DSC02160 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02160 © DY of jtdytravels

So back to the Festival where there seemed to be a very relaxed atmosphere on this, the second day. It was possible to be right beside a competitor, their mount and their eagle. 

goat tug of war 1

One of the more fascinating sports was a tug of war, on horseback, using a headless goat.

goat tug of war 2

Not only was the goat headless, but the legs had been cut off at the ‘elbows’. Made hanging on to the beast even harder.

Goat tug of war 3

It was a real test of strength and horsemanship.  The galloping, turning horses combined with the strong wind made it very dusty on the field and not at all pleasant. But it was somehow quite mesmerising to watch this crazy ‘sport’. At least the goat was being tenderised!

pick up coins

Another competition required the rider to pick up a coin from the ground at full gallop! There was great skill required to perform this seemingly impossible task… many failed.

When all the competitions were over, it was time for winners to be announced. Since I didn’t really understand the announcements, I decided to take photographs of the more obvious reactions amongst the competitors during the proceedings.  That was rather fun.

DSC02162 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02162 © DY of jtdytravels

The chief judge soon had everyone’s attention… he had the all important list of winners.

DSC02164 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02164 © DY of jtdytravels

A young competitor and his hooded eagle awaited the results… hopeful… maybe.

DSC02163 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02163 © DY of jtdytravels

A worried looking owner. His eagle looked totally disinterested in the results…

maybe it was one of the ‘naughty’ eagles that soared in the thermals!

DSC02168 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02168 © DY of jtdytravels

Other hopefuls milled around on their horses. 

DSC02170 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02170 © DY of jtdytravels

Finally, one of the winners was announced. For what, I wasn’t sure.

But big congratulations all round.

DSC02169 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02169 © DY of jtdytravels

Will I, won’t I?  Maybe?

DSC02172 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02172 © DY of jtdytravels

Yes!!!  They say: ‘winners are grinners’… and this grinner was indeed a winner!

DSC02174 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02174 © DY of jtdytravels

Another medal winner… slightly less ecstatic with his good fortune…but he couldn’t take

his eyes off his medal.  Winners were also presented with a certificate.

DSC02175 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02175 © DY of jtdytravels

And this was his medal.

DSC02176 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02176 © DY of jtdytravels

Looking on with us was James, a friend Tim made here on a previous visit. 

DSC02180 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02180 © DY of jtdytravels

After a fascinating afternoon, we returned to our ger camp… and what we found was utter devastation. Crumpled gers and belongings everywhere.  My little tent, although it lost one guy rope, was still standing (right of blue mess tent). 

DSC02181 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02181 © DY of jtdytravels

The very strong winds, strong enough to blow a person off their feet, had reeked havoc and blown three of the six gers over.  Tim had never heard of this happening before.

DSC02182 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02182 © DY of jtdytravels

A rescue operation was necessary to retrieve our belongings from the toppled gers and to disassemble the still standing gers.  This took over an hour to complete. 

DSC02183 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC02183 © DY of jtdytravels

With no outer felt and calico covering, this ger shows its supporting wooden structure.

Obviously it was just not possible to sleep the night where we were, so Tseren swung into action to find alternative accommodation in Olgii.  As it turned out, the lady who ran the bathhouse had been asking Tseren to become a Facebook friend for some time.  Now this was the opportunity to see what she could do for us.  It just so happened that the bathhouse lady was trying to establish a guest house but she didn’t have any guests staying… even though the town was booked out due to the festival.  Here was a real chance for her to make some money. She agreed that all seventeen of us, plus the drivers and cooks, could stay overnight. Somehow we all found room on mattresses and rugs on the floor in various parts of this lady’s house.  It was rather amazing… her whole family had just up and left. Personal possessions such as pills and watches were still on shelves and ledges in the rooms… ’twas as if the owners had fled from some impending catastrophe.  Perhaps we were that catastrophe? 

It was not a good night’s sleep.  But what can you do!  That’s life.

More anon

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

If you enjoy these armchair travels, please pass our site onto others

www.dymusings.com

more of our travel stories and photos can be found on

www.jtdytravels.com

More of our travel photos are on

www.flickr.com/photos/jtdytravels

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s