Sain bainu, everyone!
That's hello in Mongolian - I'm still trying to master 'thank you', my pronunciation of which leaves all the locals laughing.
The Mongolian capital Ulaan-Baatar is surprisingly modera/liberal town - full of Soviet era architecture next to the traditional white "ger" huts. Today we're heading off to a ger camp to sleep in them for a few days - get the lay of the land, do some hiking, ride a horse, drink some fermented mare's milk, and so on.
Mongolia is a peculiar but charming mix of Russia and China - but as we've found out, they're a very proud people (you would be too if your greated ever hero conquered the world's biggest empire), so don't call them Chinese!
Train travel is a nice change to planes - athough sleeping in beds meant for shorter Asian people is leaving various parts of my body numb (arms and legs, that is!)
Gotta run - everything is going nicely except for this head cold I can't shake!
Talk soon, Natalie.