Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating with us when we went to see Mt. Fuji up close. I still can’t believe I survived the negative degree weather underdressed! It’s still a good memory shared with my friends nonetheless.
Morning of day 2, we enter Mongolia. Awake to an amazing view. Outside the Gobi Desert stretches into the distance. Unlike China there is no sign of human habitation, just mile after mile of sand. I spy some camels in the distance.
At 11:30, it’s only two hours to go until Ulan Bator, so the Mongolians have begun the epic task of packing away their vast stock of alcohol. This was cunningly stashed away all over the carriage when we went through customs last night. A 2-litre of whisky appears from beneath Aunty Mongolian's voluminous skirts. "Her morning drink" jokes Young Mongolian. I think she was joking.
Day 2, Since Ulan Bator my Mongolian friends left the train so I have a 4-bed compartment to myself! I check out the dining car, there are only two options, goulash and steak. I opt for the steak. Now there are mostly just Russians and Chinese on the train.
I attempt to befriend Ye Wei and his friend Zhang Lian in the next carriage, but due to my lack of Chinese ability this involves a mix of poor English, poor Chinese, my Chinese Hanzi cards and prodigious pointing out of phrases in my Pinyin version of "Elmer the Patchwork Elephant". After a four hour border crossing at Naushki, we finally make it into Russia.
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