Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We made it to Mongolia - wow, it's cold!

When initially planning this trip, we knew that it would be cold in Russia and really cold in Mongolia.  It's the heart of winter but we saw it as an extreme experience that we wanted to try.

Luckily we were able to edge our way in to the extreme cold.  St Petes and Moscow were hanging around 19 F (-7 C) and Yekaterinburg was around 7 F (-14 C).  The latter proving cold enough to where I got a little hesitant when it came to wondering around looking for food!

So, when we arrived at the train station in Ulaanbaatar at 6:30 in the morning, before the sun was up - wow!  That was cold,  -16 F (-27 C).  A simple breath in and you instantly felt your nose hairs freeze.  You almost felt scared for your lungs!  The fabrics on our coats even changed from a gentle woosh-woosh sound when walking to a crinkly, crackly plastic crunchy sound!  After a few minutes wandering around on the platform looking for our driver, cheeks tingling, the cold had already gone through our gloves!  Later that morning when we jumped out of the van for a quick walk across the main city square, within 10 minutes Josh had nice ice-cycles developing on his beard!

We will post a bit more later about the details of what we got up to in these extreme temperatures, but this morning at the Ger Lodge, out in the countryside, it was -29 F (-34 C) with the sun just up!  Needless to say, the night before when Josh tried to take some long exposure star trail photos, he only managed the one photo below before jumping back in the Ger before both him and the camera started to freeze over!

It's really been an amazing experience here in Mongolia, even if brief.  We head off tomorrow morning bound for Beijing in the last leg of our Trans-Mongolian journey!

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