9th July 2010
At breakfast, I have good news to share with the group. Nicky arrived safely at the hospital and went straight into the surgery, her shoulder put back under general anaesthetic. Better still, she will join us in the evening. The girls would have loved another day in the beach camp, but they’re now fired up for the final day on horseback. And it is a scenic one, along the lake, the second largest in Mongolia, ringed by distant mountains. As Narra and her team are heading north to collect us, we advance at a leisurely pace, stopping for lunch and then for tea as the gap between us narrows. Finally we make contact - a white Jeep on the shore – and it’s time for the girls to bid farewell to their horses. Mongolian horses don’t have names, don’t eat mints or apple cores, don’t expect TLC, but by now Didi, Becca and Bob are as one with Bogbrush, Kylie and Chris so the parting is painful.
Boda is in F1 form for the 20km over rough roads to the Blue Pearl, our tourist camp, and Nicky is there waving her good arm outside ger number 4. We crowd into it to hear about her Mongolian adventure. Over a bevy or ten, she re-lives her night in the hospital, the rude awakening feeling sick in a maternity ward full of new born babies, the 10 hour journey down to Moron to join up with Narra, the X-ray in another local hospital, with 25-year-old Boda, totally untrained, operating the equipment. Nice one, Boda. The image of Nicky’s shoulder and broken collar bone is crystal clear.
Later in the evening, we celebrate our reunion with further singing and arm wrestling bouts with three Aussie vets travelling through Central Asia. It seems they are on a mission to drink people like me under the table. No worries mate. No chance either.