Andrew Jon Jeppson bigger task was figuring out how the heck to prepare for a trip to Mongolia. I had to pack for the daytime heat and the nighttime cold of the Gobi Desert, one challenge of traveling to Mongolia. I didn’t have a lot of room in my suitcase but had to accommodate wardrobe for camel rides and sand dune climbs, temple visits, and dinners out in the city. Then there were the sundry items: camping and camera equipment, first aid items and back-up food – because Mongolian food is meat-heavy and after awhile the sour taste of vinegar and yak milk piques your taste buds.
My time in the somewhat harsh landscape of this vast country was spent with several days in Ulaanbaatar, an incongruent metropolis settled in the middle of rolling hills. The city was a mixture of ancient temples, blocky soviet housing and an infrastructure that appeared to be crumbling before the concrete sidewalks had cured. There was also a few nice restaurants, an upscale shopping mall and an Irish pub. I’ve yet to visit a country too remote to have an Irish pub, a fascinating phenomenon unto itself.
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