Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hongory Els - Singing Sand Dunes

First a bit of explanation about the sheep.
Men kill the sheep. They are not allowed to pour blood on the floor. And they are up to the challenge. They cut one vessel near the hear, through a small incision. Death occurs very fast. All the blood is kept inside the cavity.
They skin the sheep, cut the flesh into pieces. The women step in to take the inner organs. They will boil them with onions. They are then presented and eaten as such, or you can grill them or whatever you fancy. Most of the meat is boiled. I was surprised to see how tasty it remains, and the texture too is amazing. I suppose that is because of the way they are fed. Grass, and only that.

Now let's go to the South of theGobi desert.
This goat was a leader. While the other kept their distances, it came to us to ask for some treats.
Those are singing dunes. Not every dune can sing, but those can. Because of the shape of the grain, of the temperature and other parameters. When the sand moves, you can hear it.

at the bottom, there must be a lake at some time of the year.
Indeed, there is
but as you see, it is very dry.
I did notmake it up to the top. However the view was something, even from the middle.
Some local chatting together

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


This was our first meal in the desert. A soup with sheep raviolis, and salted butter milk.
A collection of cheese (goat and camel)
I love those steamed bread!

A typical dish : pasta with meal

This is how butter is done
A typical delicatessen : the inners (heart, liver, kidneys, etc) of the sheep. They do taste wonderful, I swear. Even in the middle of the afternoon or at breakfast.
I also recommend goat liver, yummy.
The sheep in that pot was still living less than two hours ago.
While they killed it, they heated stones in a fire. Then put layers of stones, meat and potatoes/onions in the pot, as high as possible. Closed the cover (took two men to do so) and let it steam for about 45 mn. It was plain delicious. It all disappeared in less than 15 mn.
apart from the inners that we had in the afternoon.
Whenever we would stop at a yourt, we were offered food (cheese and inners) and drinks (tea with or without butter). The tastiest experience was vodka made from goat/sheep yogourt. You have all the flavors, believe me :-)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Old carvings

The desert is not made of sand only. There are some rocks too. On them, there is art going back to the dawn of humanity.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Inside a yourt

First a tourist yourt
The furnace is used to heat the yourt, and even to cook

Then a "real" yourt

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mounting a yourt

This is how a yourt is mounted, in about one hour (when strangers don't come to help.
The pictures are from two different yourts.
The last one shows the fleece seen from inside.

Monday, October 6, 2014


We stopped near a well. It was around 16:00, in a windy afternoon.
First, we saw the horses, very nervous and thirsty. Theire owner was late, so another guy decided to draw water for them. They were more than happy.
While they were busy drinking, sheeps and goats were waiting for their turn. Apparently, there is some hiearchy among the herds.
That's our driver drawing the water. Both drivers were always happy to help with the animals.  And you can see a tiny cheeky goat.
joined by the others as soon as the horses went away. Humans were watching to prevent horns getting stuck, or to make sure everybody had access to the water.
There was still another herd waiting in the distance. They approached once the first herd was done.
Again, the place was crowded.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

So thrilled

to see you all there again, after all this time§

I was there, but very busy in the real world. Nothing bad, mind you. Just other priorities that kept me away from this blog (but not from yours) and from any textile arts.
However, I miss you, and I miss playing with threads and fabrics, so I'll do my best to be more present.

At the end of winter, I had to decide where to go on vacations. I wanted to go away, to really have a break.
In January, I went in the desert, in Marocco with a friend of mine, and I loved it. When browsing through the catalog, I read "Desert of Gobi". Sounded great. So desert of Gobi it was to be.

The trip was up to my expectations. Great landscapes. A very different world. And a lovely group to travel with. I've been back for two weeks now, but am still under the spell.

So let's go with more pictures.

Special note to Flattery and Bunny: you'd love running there. There are so many rabbits and rodents to run after...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Yoliin Am - the valley of the vultures

I fellin love with this valley. To me, such a landscape is a synonym of peace of mind, as strange as it may sound. In fact, it is wild and life must be rough there. The river remains frozen most of the time. Anyway, this is where I realized I was in Mongolia.

First encounter with yacks

The valley gets narrow

I never imagined a van could go through such paths... This is the end of the track. Believe me, the rest was something (and frankly not much compared to what laid ahead...)