Monday, 24 August 2009

Houhehot Hospitality

We have arrived in Houhehot and are receiving a royal welcomme. Yesterday we met up on horseback at the racecourse with members of the local horsey community. We were then dressed up in Mongolian costume and rode through the streets of Houhehot to the bemusement of the local populace to our lunch venue in a yurt on the other side of town. This involved much toasting in bai jiu and Mongolian singing - I was prevailed upon to contribute a Welsh folk song about goats which has previously proved a useful party piece in Central Asia.

The horses were then put out to grass at a nearby stables while we were whisked off to a luxurious Mongolian hotel which eerily resembled a UFO - unfortunately I still cannot download photos!

We have now been moved to more modest but still very comfortable accomodation (ensuite with hot shower!) and tonight are being treated to a banquet in our honour. And we are being supplied with hay for the next stage of the journey.

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