Way back from the Tsaatans

Thursday 24/08

Isabelle has a lot of philosophical thoughts this morning. She thought a lot during her insomnias. Although the place is as remote as we could imagine it, we are a bit disappointed by the ‘authenticity’ of this stay at the Tsaatans. The interaction / exchange with them was rather limited. We reach the conclusion that there might no longer be possible to find authentic encounters with local tribes in the world. We spent a lot of time and energy (and money) to come here but the reward/effort ratio is maybe too low. We might be a bit biased because I was injured and because the temperatures were really cold but we must admit that we didn’t get as much as we thought from this experience. The living conditions were also too tough (no comfort at all) to do something else (such as meditation, yoga or even reading a book!); there’s no place to seat “restfully” in this village.

There have been nevertheless very good and powerful lessons of life for children (resilience being on top of the list…) and it has been a strong family experience, bringing us together even more.

We leave at 10:30am.

4h30 of horse today, with half an hour stop for lunch (rice with sardines), at the place where we stopped for lunch the second day on horse. Weather is nice; we’re lucky!

We arrive at 3pm at a place where we see the van of Tala, who came closer than anticipated. We are so happy!

We say goodbye to our guides.

We feel really happy in the car even if it’s painful to me. We can see the snow-capped mountains; the landscapes are beautiful! But the road is really tough.

The other good news that we got from Natsca is that we can get an earlier flight from Moron to UB. We don’t have to stay 3 nights in Moron but only one.

We arrive at 9pm at Ulsan Uul, where we slept the second night of our arduous journey. We go directly to the same restaurant where we went one week ago, to eat the same dumplings. I call our ‘Serviced Apartments’ place in UB and, luckily, they have 2 nights available. We thus extend our (second) stay in UB from the initial 3 nights to 7 nights (2 extra because of the UB – Beijing train tickets + 2 now).

We then go to the same yurt where we previously slept. We look at the stars on the sky. We have never seen so many before and what we first thought was a cloud was actually the Milky Way. The yurt is quite ample and warm. We rapidly fall asleep after this tough day.

Friday 25/08

We leave around 9:30am.

It’s a full day (9h) of car today.

The road is beautiful (it’s the same as the one we took to come) but even tougher than before (there has been a lot of rain / snow in the recent days).

The car has some regular ‘start-up’ problems. Once we need the help of the passengers of another minivan to push our minivan. Another time we get stuck in the middle of one of the many rivers we had to cross. But Tala is very resourceful with the car.

We stop for lunch in a “hotel/restaurant”(!) to eat our instant noodles.

The second part of the road (after the valley where the river flows) is even more beautiful. We have a nice weather. As always we saw (many) (big) herds of yaks, horses, sheep and goats.

We reach the main road around 5:30pm. It’s one of the many enjoyable “milestones” getting us closer to UB. It takes us another hour to reach Moron, where we spend the night before our plane to UB tomorrow morning.

The hotel is correct. We are so happy to find again a bed, a toilet, a shower and an internet connection (in a different order according to the different members of the family…).

We have diner at the hotel at 8pm. We are all tired after this tough day.



Saturday 26/08 (1/2)

I wake up at 5am; pain is too strong to sleep. I don’t want to wake up Isabelle. My back (especially the left part) hurts so much but I don’t dare to change position because each attempt is really painful; the left part hurts very much since yesterday afternoon when I was at the back in the car, and then when I sneezed at night (it hurt like hell).

My lamentations finally wake up Isabelle, who helps me to sit up straight slowly; it’s painful.

I quickly feel better but I’m still very much worried. I decide to go directly to the hospital when we arrive in UB later on today (around 2pm). It’s unfortunately Saturday but I’ll go to the emergency.

I get advice from Bernard about where to go: he recommends me the SOS Medica International Hospital. We’ll go there upon our arrival in UB.

We get breakfast, we enjoy the internet and then we leave to the airport (in Tala’s van).


One Reply to “Way back from the Tsaatans”

  1. Hello Cédric and the family, thank you for sharing your extraordinary experience, we enjoy that type of traveling where we have the nice views and an enthralling story – without the cold and the tough part. We are thankful that you could continue the journey after your accident but can imagine the pain. Likely broken ribs? You will tell us soon. We wish that you recover quickly. After the vastness, prepare for the crowd. You are not the only ones to enjoy the sun and warmer climates. We very much like the way you write your adventure. Lots of love, Nala and Olivier

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