Most Inspirational Moment
This trip was a real adventure. Mongolia is a stunning country and we saw breath-taking and different landscapes during our visit, as well as animals galore: herds of sheep and goats, herds of horses, camels and yaks and, a highlight for me, the Takhi horses. Other highlights were Karokorum and the Ger camp we stayed in there, where a local musical group came to perform for us specially. We also enjoyed the trips to the Singing Dunes just before the storm came in, the Flaming Cliffs and the trek into the Yolyn Am gorge. There had been a lot of rain and several cars got stuck on the approach, but our drivers were great. They got us through and also helped to pull others out. At one point, in the middle of the Gobi Desert in temperatures of 40 degrees, they replaced a broken driveshaft on our vehicle! Visiting the gorge is billed as a walk, but there are horses to hire there, which my partner and I chose to do. It made the trek really memorable.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Odka was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and generally helpful. There was one issue which she was unable to help with and said I should contact Exodus. As we were without wifi or mobile phone signal, this wasn't possible at the time. However, once I was able to contact the office, the issue was sorted very promptly.
Advice for Potential Travellers
This trip is billed as 2, a leisurely to moderate trip. This is true in the sense that there isn't much walking involved. However, there is a very great deal of driving and some very long driving days off-road, so be aware of this, especially if you have a back problem, as did one member of our group. The off-road vehicles we travelled in were ok, but not that comfortable - this is Mongolia afterall! - and the sheer amount of driving took its toll physically. Although there was some downtime during the trip, it wasn't till day 8 that we got a half-day to ourselves, so I wouldn't say downtime balanced out the driving. And remember that Mongolia is 1300m above sea-level in the capital, and we went up to 2000m elsewhere. The UK body takes a good time to adjust to that altitude.
There was no shortage of food and we were very well fed throughout. It was generally set meals, but the Gobi Erdene Ger Camp, where we stayed two nights (Day 7 and 8), had a good and varied buffet option.