Well, the title says it, “Mongolia, number 65,” more specifically, this is my 65th country visited. A bit of a milestone I suppose…
The layover between the Russian and Mongolian border was about 6 hours. We had time to walk into town and do some shopping at the open air market. I bought some Siberian long-john underwear (these would pay off in warmth dividends for weeks to come). In the photo above, I’m standing at the border pointing to Russia behind me, “Goodbye Russia!”
We met some more Australians who were headed in the opposite direction. We all agreed to walk into town. While we were grouping to head to town, we watched a particularly cute dog who was begging at the door of the train. It seemed that he had been given a snack from a previous train and he was very patient to get another snack. He waited and waited and never did get his snack. Later, when we came back from town, Tom reported that this little dog ambushed a pigeon and was running back home with the still kicking bird in his mouth.
After a restaurant break, some shopping, and just bored “hanging out” at the train station, we began moving across the “no-man’s land” towards the Mongolian train station. The sun set and made for a nice photo:
As we pulled up to the Mongolian station, I shot this photo – much to the dismay of the Mongolian border guard. They hollered at me to pull the blinds down and to put the camera away. Later, they boarded the train and I was surprised at how tall and good-looking they were. The border soldier (male) was the same height as me (6′ 2″ or 189 cm). One of the female border guard was very suave looking with all of her medals pinned on to her blazer. Her tight skirt made for an interesting contrast; bold & stern border guard who was also beautiful and sexy looking. Of course, none of them would let me take their photo.
After the drug dog swept the train and found nothing, the police handler pulled out a drug decoy and spent the next 20 minutes hiding the decoy and letting the little dog sniff it out. This was much to the delight of the passengers. Every time the little dog found the decoy bag, everyone one the train clapped and cheered.
Once we were finally on the track again, Iris made up a tray of crackers, sausages, and cheese. We enjoyed a nice train meal before finally going to bed, ready to wake up in the capital of Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar.
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