Wednesday, 5 October 2011

We Love You, UU

Ulan Ude has been good for morale. Here's a few reasons why...

We saw our first llama!
Spot the llama. Or lama. Or something
In the middle of the Siberian wilderness, about an hour's mini-bus ride from Ulan Ude, stands Ivolginsky Datsan, a Buddhist monastery complex, home to about forty lamas.

Inside are the lamas
We had the good fortune to travel there with two gentlemen backpackers, a Candian and an Austrialian, Isaac and Dean.  Isaac makes friends easily in any language, and, true to form, two lovely old ladies ushered him (and us) into a private temple building to meet an English-speaking lama. We huddled behind the curtain and listened as Isaac and the lama discussed the truths of the universe: " it hot or is it cold?" "Sometimes it's hot...Sometimes it's cold."

The doorway to Enlightenment
And afterwards I was able to muse on such things in my own way...

England: sometimes it's hot. Mostly it's not.
But tackling the great Questions of Being is not the only reason Ulan Ude has been good for morale. Here are the others...

There is a posh shop.
Look at all the wholefoods!
There is a novelty ger
Look at the traditional Buryat dwelling
The local fauna are not short a crust or two

Captain Fat Sparrow
The cappuccino is an art form

Yes, it's actually winking at you
And Ali looks buff by a fountain

All in all this has been a great three days. Thank you, UU. Onwards to Mongolia... 


  1. "gentlemen backpackers" - Is this a euphemism?

  2. Get your mind out of the gentlemen's conduit, Andy.