Richard Perry

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Memories: Switzerland 2008 Instagram Digest Q2 2014

Memories: Three Nations 2009

  |     |   Memories, Beijing, Xi'an, Ulanbaatar, Scouts, Travel

2009 was a fantastic year for many reasons. Both Rosie and I completed our professional training, with me receiving my RICS Chartership and Rosie completing here NEBOSH Construction Safety Certificate. This was quite an important milestone in both our lives, so we decided to celebrate in the only way that we know how…we went travelling :smile:.

After a brilliant trip to South Africa we decided to join Troll and the gang on their next adventure to Russia, Mongolia and China. The Three Nations trip also seemed like a good springboard for further travel. Unfortunately, the Russian leg of the trip had to be removed due to the significant cost implications, but spending 10 days living in a Ger on the Steppes of Mongolia more than made up for that!

We spent a couple of days in Beijing seeing some of the sights before heading to Ulaanbaatar and the grasslands beyond to experience nomadic living. We:

  • spent a day with a nomadic family;
  • evacuated our ‘home’ due to an extreme flash flood;
  • helped do some refurbishment works to a local Buddhist Temple and a local Scout hut;
  • hiked, and cleared litter, through the National Park;
  • participated in our very own Naadam (Наадам) festival;
  • and met up with our friend, Gankhuyag Magsarjav, from the World Jamboree for a teaching at his Monastery :smile:.

It was fantastic, but it also wasn’t the end. We then headed back to Beijing to do some more of the touristy thing. We:

  • visited the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an travelling by overnight train in each direction;
  • visited the Ming Tombs on route to the Great Wall;
  • and slept on the Great Wall of China, yes slept, before hiking along it the following morning.

The best memories from the Three Nations trip include:

  • walking into the Forbidden City;
  • getting absolutely soaked to the skin during more than one ridiculous ‘shower’ (we don’t really know what rain is in this country compared to China & Mongolia!);
  • flipping poo to help it dry for use in the stove;
  • watching huge Gers moving across a hillside with dozens of feet sticking out the bottom;
  • having a shower (and sauna :smile:) after a week of washing with a bucket of water or wet wipes;
  • haggling in the frenetic indoor markets in Beijing;
  • sleeping on the Great Wall of China;
  • trying to convince staff in a local restaurant that we wanted one of their dishes served hot instead of cold, in Mandarin. They thought we were getting our words wrong until we found out how to say that we knew it should be cold, we just wanted it hot :smile:.

This was just the beginning of our travelling this year, but the rest will have to wait. For more information about the Three Nations Expedition, we kept a blog here.

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