Saturday, June 16, 2012
We said goodbye to Liz, Lisa, and Scott after Pepper made a feast of green chili enchiladas, beer bread, and dozens of cookies. Enkha took us to the train station in Ulaanbaatar which is just a few KM from our apartment. We met Jay there. He is on the same train as us but is not going the whole distance with us.
With our tickets in hand we just had to wait for our train. We were on train 263, carriage 1, bunks 13-16 (a second class compartment). Our home for the next 36 hours.
Jordan carefully stowed our bags – three backpacks, three day packs, and a duffel bag of food for the train. It was about 9 PM.
The train rolled west out of UB, stopping occasionally. We settled in, experimenting with light switches, testing out the restrooms, and finally digging into books. Pepper is reading Stalin’s Ghost. I have a book on drugs, society, and human behavior. You know, light train reading.
With our compartment window open and darkness settling in we let the train’s rhythmic movement and sounds lull us to sleep. I woke for a few stops – once in a panic wondering when we would arrive at the border, what we needed to do, how long we would be there… our guidebook was able to answer a lot of my questions and let me ease back to sleep.