We remained in Mongolia for nearly a week after returning from the Gobi. As we were unpacking the van after the trip we found to our disbelief that we were sharing a room with Dara the guy we had stayed with in Novosibirsk! The next few days were spent with him and others from the hostel, sampling mongolian cuisine purchasing magic cloth from the black market and watching the trick shot billiards world championships on some momgolian sport5s channel until the early hours.
Ed had decided to leave early 0_o for relationship reasons and head off for beijing. We opted to do a two day hike through the mountains back to Ulaan Bataar. After packing camping gear we took a local bus the 50km to a small town called zuunmod the starting pace of our hike. There were no paths so following the compass north we set out into the mountins and after a few hours folowed a ridgeline. It great feeling to experience such wild landscape which can only be viewed after a days walk from any road or village. Over the two days we sighted only one one monglian man on horseback. The mountains at first were wind swept and baron but after about 10km we came to a tree covered section where there was still more than knee deep snow everywhere and very uneven ground. We set up camp surrounded by snow near the summit of one of the four holy peaks surrounding Ulaan Bataar and after making a fire settled down for a cold night in bivvi and sleeping bag. The following day without bags we scrambled to the summit of gun uul which is 2226meters. The ascent back into the city was tiring to say the least. The slope consisted of thousands of snow covered bolders which are very dangerous and ment are progress was slow. What made things worse was that the valley we were following down turned out to be the president of mongolias prohibited garden and after spending hours skirting round his holyness's palace we found that it was impossible to leave without the police opening the gate. After having our kit searched and being held for a while we were let out.
We also went to two clubs one of which had a bouncy dance floor!