Inner Mongolia: Xilamuren Grasslands (Day 2)

Early in the morning, we were picked up by our local driver to head to the grasslands of Xilamuren.

We rented two horses for some horse riding over the grasslands – there is no better way to get a feel of the open grasslands than this.

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Aside from the occasional local family-run yurt compounds, the land seems to stretch out miles without anything in sight… until we came across this weird religious site in place with an old lady conveniently placed there alone, anticipating the arrival of two foreigners.

XLMR Religious Site She mentioned we could make a wish for 20 yuan and tie a pair of blue and white hadag around the curious looking structure. Obviously very smart to make money out of it (it’s the only thing you would see from some miles away). Since we were already there, D decided to just do it while I continued snapping photos of the area.

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In the early evening, we caught a horse racing performance, where I took some amazing close up shots of beautiful horses. Or at least, I thought so – the shutter was going off, but nothing remained in my memory card which annoyed me greatly. So a vivid imagination will have to do. Following that, the younger ones of the family did a short Mongolian Wrestling performance.

XLMR Wrestling2XLMR Wrestling We had dinner afterwards, and headed to a sort-of-bar to have some drinks before calling it a day. We had some nice conversations with a local guy, who left a good job to work in tourism, only to be struggling to make ends’ meet with a baby in tow. I always feel a hundred times more thankful of what I have, when having conversations like that.

XLMR Yurt Bar After the bar, we “checked” into our traditional yurt, the only sort of accommodation they provided at the grasslands, aside from the cemented “yurts” complete with air-conditioning.

XLMR Yurt 3 XLMR Yurt 2XLMR Yurt 1That’s when things got really interesting, to say the least. Bees hovering around us, spiders and bugs crawling from out of our blankets and mattresses, and having to pull off “something” in the dark out of my hair at night, night storm pouring through the hole at the top wetting my entire bed, to say the most. We really wished we brought our sleeping bags with us. It was actually a really beautiful location, and a really beautiful yurt. Such a shame, really, but a real adventure for anyone who lives to tell the tale…

<Comment from D.>
Actually N. is pretty nice with her description of the yurt. Let’s face it, if you ever wanted to be at a place where everything is either broken, dirty, or full of insects then this place is definitely for you. … 

I know, I am a spoilt brat 🙂
</Comment from D.>

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