A visit to the grasslands in Inner Mongolia is a must when you’re in the region. So, on our third and last day in Hohot, the capital city, we were excited to see real Mongolian yurts and feast on Mongolian food like no other.
For three hours, our car went up and down the hill. The last hour of the trip was spent zigzagging through potholes and asphalted road. My student’s father would not settle in an area where the hills are almost bare due to chilly autumn. For an hour, I couldn’t imagine the vastness of the grasslands.It was like a green ocean under the vast azure sky. I wanted to tell the father to stop so we could enjoy the sight but he seemed determined to go farther in search of a greener pasture. I’ve rarely seen trees. There were yurts, sheep and horses along the way. We saw tourists in their undescribable facial expressions manning horses for the first time.
The car stopped in the middle of nowhere. The moment I looked around, it felt like it was the farthest travel I’ve done in my life. All I saw were tiny hills of grasslands and some yurts collectively built in one area. I looked at the farthest distance and the horizon was beautiful. The grasslands and the sky met at one point—and they looked like they’re meant to the bride and the groom intertwined forever. I can’t express my feeling at the sight of these stunning landscape. Man, I imagined running in this vast land naked as if it would be the happiest time of my life. It was like the landscape was taken out from the pages of Emily Bronte’s novel, “Wuthering Height where Heathcliff and Catherine met and professed their love.
I was excited at the thought of walking through the grassland alone. Feeling it. Admiring it. And running my fingers through the blades of grass.
Right after lunch, we headed to the gate where the business office is located. We asked what were the activities they offer to visitors. They’ve got few choices to do: horse-riding, motor-riding, visiting real Mongolian families and eat with them, paragliding and trekking. Instead of availing one of these options for free (paid by our host family), I declared, “I just wanna walk around” to the amazement of my hosts. They insisted that I should take one of the options but I was stubborn. Except for paragliding, I’ve already tried those activities before.
And so, I walked through the grassland. I just wanted to be alone at that moment. I hiked the hills and paused sometimes to admire and the endless horizon. It was quiet. Peace was like no other. It was bliss. Eternity. Paradise.
I walked for an hour and a half. Then, I saw our car approaching. They must have been looking for me. When the car screeched its brake right in front of me, Mike told me to get in. It was already 3:30 p.m. and were going back to Hohot to catch up our train back to Beijing at 9:21 in the evening.
Moments later, we found ourselves snoozing at our car seats.
For the first time in five days of continuous movements, I felt so exhausted.
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