After making it to heathrow in good time I got myself checked in then manhandled through security and set off to find a burger king. It was all I could think about on the train I had to have an XL bacon double cheese burger with ketchup mustard and pickles. it was going be my last one for a very long time. The mission was sadly unssucsesful they didn’t even have a macdonalds! I had to settle for an over priced full breakfast instead.
The flight to turkey was great I had a window seat right behind first class so had loads of extra leg room and a TV with all the recent movies. The first thing I noticed about Istanbul airport was that it literally stank of BO! I thought it was me at first as wearing a coat that was to keep me warm in the sub zero temperatures of Mongolia, in Turkish heat was making me more than a little warm! The toilets were also flooded with piss. They did have a burger king though but it wasn’t the same.
Pre ordering jain food on the plane turned out to be a bad idea as it basically consisted of curried beans, lentils, peas and rice. I have been served this twice now and the build up of gas is getting painful, I have been letting farts off stealthfully when I can, however I dosed off while watching Hangover 3 which was ok but very predictable. Obviously while your sleeping you lose the ability to do stealth farts. I woke myself up with a sudden jump from the loud rumbling that came from my fake leather seat, at first I thought it was just some turbulence but the rising smell and the luck of discust from the guy sitting next to me told me otherwise.
I have been travelling for 18 hours solid now and starting to feel a little fatigued I am currently in Kazikstan i think I am writing this in a holding room next to the runway The plane has stopped to refuel I think, to be honest I don’t have a clue what is going on. Aparantly there are only 8 from the plane going on to mongolia one of them was the guy I was sitting next to before and he is in here so I am just going to follow him. As far as I was concerned I was meant to be going from istanbul to ulaanbatar well thats what my ticket told me at least.
Eventually we were all boarded back on the plane and headed for Ulaanbator, The view was incredible as the sun was just starting to rise as we flew over the Altai mountains in the west of monolia so the snow had a beautiful orange glow to it. The mountains eventually disappeared and the landscape became what looked like a giant sandpit that went on for ever! I eventually touched down in Ulaanbator and was ferried through immigration where a guy in a massive military style cap and uniform scrutinised my passport and visa for what seemed like forever. Leaving the airport I was greater by the guy picking me up to take me to the guesthouse, he didn’t speak any english and the only mongolian I had learned until now was hello (saan banu) and thank you (bay an la) so the conversation wasn’t exactly flowing! We drove through some pretty heavy industry on very congested roads towards Ulaanbator though we drove more on the sides of the roads than the road itself in a bid to make it passed the endless cues of trucks.
Ulaanbator is a sprawling ramshackle city with new construction going up everywhere there is very little sign of old Ulaanbator except for an ancient monastery that is surrounded by modern skyscrapers. By my second day here I had seen all that was worth seeing its now time to head out into the wilderness!