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Mongolian Adventurers: Leo Murray, Mongolian Horseman, and Howard

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


July 7, 2010

This blog will chronicle notable highlights of my adventure trip to China and Mongolia. I make this journey July 10 to August 17, 2010, visiting Shanghai, the Yangtze River Cruise, Lhasa, Xian, and Beijing in China for the first three weeks. As some visiting Chinese students have told me, I am taking the rich-cities China tour. A journey to rural China, probably focused around the southern province of Yunnan, will have to wait for another day.

Then I travel to Mongolia for a 17 day horseback riding trip. Am I prepared for such a horseback riding experience at my advanced age? No! Training will have to be "on site." I have gotten away with such physical challenges before, bicycle riding in the mountains of Laos and scuba diving in Lake Malawi in Africa. Hopefully I will get away with it again on this trip. This horseback riding trip has been arranged by my Williams College classmate, class of 1964, Leo Murray. I actually don't remember meeting Leo at Williams but he is highly recommended by friends from my college class and is clearly quite the adventurer himself. He lives in Hong Kong, with his Chinese wife, and makes several adventure trips each year, to Mongolia, Nepal, Myanmar, etc., taking friends with him. He has been inviting me for several years to join him on one of these trips and the time has now arrived for me to do so. I am semi-retired and available to make this trip. He has assembled an interesting cast of characters for this horseback riding trip, from the USA, Canada, England, Germany, and Hong Kong. The Mongolians are reputed to be very wonderful and hardy. And, I hear the countryside is gorgeous and isn't fenced in with a privatized concept of land ownership except around its capital city! What a concept!

Today I am finishing some last minute preparations for the trip, making copies of tickets and credit cards, confirming plane reservations, and making the final arrangements with my wife before departure. I am also taking crash courses in Chinese language and history, specifically a Learning Center series of lectures on the History of Modern China by Professor Richard Baum from UCLA. Very, very interesting! I am a world traveler, particularly to SE Asia, Central America, and Africa, as well as Europe, but have never managed to visit China and Mongolia. It is time! Let the adventure begin!

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