Monday, November 29, 2010

The Train To China

Another massive night, this time after all swearing we would have an early night after the final night in the Ger, put the success of catching our train in jeopardy, but MG somehow got us there in time. Dancing to totally random Mongolian pop and techo music in the bar at the front of our hotel, after being booted out the back door from one of the many Irish bars, we all seemed to get very carried away. Such fun!

A whole lot of napping started out this leg of our train trip from Mongolia to China, before we came to darkness with the timezones and the sheer distance covered. This also meant that the true Gobi Desert passed us by in darkness, which is a shame. The border crossing this time consisted of passport checks, but also a wheel change for the whole train...while we were on it.

Quite a bit of shunting around, and waiting, our carriage was eventually rolled into a shed where we where lifted up, and the wheels below were replaced with a different size, to fit the Chinese rail lines. It was quite bizarre seeing the section of train next to us being raised, or merely being noticeably lower than us when we were raised, with travellers that we had met waving to us from that disconnected part of the train.

A few rounds of vodka shots, our last of the Chinggis batch, saw out Mongolia for us.

Not thinking we were being inconsiderately loud this night, and given the fact that we were being displaced onto a new set of wheels at midnight, and therefore everyone was still up and about for the experience, we were totally bemused by the group of French tourists in our carriage waking at some ungodly hour and singing hymns (or something) at the top of their voices, imitating our group's laughs and voices, before they got off the train a few stops before us. The French are funny buggers, aren't they!

This leg of the trip was actually the least local mingling of the train trip, with large groups around our 2 allocated cabins this time. Nevertheless, we were excited to wake in a new country, ready to explore a new city.

*This post was meant to be published yesterday for NaBloPoMo, but no chance to be anywhere near a computer! NaBloPoMo fail!

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