As the train closed in on the Mongolian border the landscape began to change, and there was less and less greenery, and more and more sand, at least the snaking path of the train allowed me to take some good shots of the train, from the train!
At the border we lost the Chinese dining car, and gained a Mongolian one, which was a much more lively affair, with lots of woodwork, and shields and swords mounted on the wall! I'm pleased to report that the standard of the food went up as well.
After almost 30 hours on the train, and the first of many border crossings, the train pulled into Ulan Bator Station - I'd been told not to
rush off the train, as that's when the pickpockets strike, but to wait on board. My guide would then be able to find me. There
was a tiny communication problem, but I did manage to hook up with my guide.
As we were walking out to the mini bus the pick pockets tried
their luck with the guy in front of me, but I spotted what was going on and managed to shout, and push them apart. Luckily they got away with nothing.
I was then treated to a guided tour of Ulan Bator before heading out to the Ger camp. The most memorable part of UB is a huge statue on a hill on the outskirts of the city where you can get a panoramic view. The trouble was when I climbed up it was blowing a gale, and all my windproof stuff was in my pack, in the minibus!
It then took about an hour to travel the 50km to the Ger camp that I was staying at. The roads started out as a sealed ones, but then went to gravel, and finally just a grass track! But the Ger camp was well worth the trip - even though the temperature dropped away as the sun set, the little wood burning stove in the centre of the Ger did its job, and kept me lovely and warm!