Heather Hapeta lives in Aotearoa-New Zealand: real travel, real adventures, real stories, real photos. Recent destinations Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong – now NZ destinations due to COVID travel restrictions
In 2 weeks’ time I’m off to Mongolia, so have been doing a little research. It seems the Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th century was the largest land empire that ever existed – stretching from Korea to Hungary and most of Asia (not India or Southeast Asia) and it lasted for over a century.
While I’m there I’ll be attending Naadam – an annual, traditional festival: which, in 2010, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.
I’m looking forward to “the 3 games of men” of Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. It seems women now take part in the archery and horse racing games and I’m expecting to get some great photos in this, the biggest festival in the Mongolian calendar.
One of the things that confused me about Mongolia were the terms Outer Mongolia, and Inner Mongolia. Wikipedia tells me that Outer Mongolia ( where I will be) is an independent, landlocked democracy, between China and Russia. Inner Mongolia was, or is, the part of the country closest to China and is not really part of the country known as Mongolia. I have no doubt I will be learning a lot in the 10 days I’m there!
I’ll be based in Ulaanbaatar, where about half of the of the 3 million population live, and expect to be posting on Instagram and Facebook (The Travelling Writer) while there – my blogs will follow once I’m back in New Zealand and had digested all I’ve seen and learnt.
It’s time for me to blog about my Borneo adventures in Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei so these orangutan are here to announce them: Food, endangered animals, music, orchids and cats, will be the first few topics covered. I will mostly write them in my travel chronological time fame, starting in Kuching and finishing in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah – a trip that took me 8 weeks.
Only about 24 ks from Kuching, Sarawak, the Semenggoh Reserve is a must-visit place. Home to semi-wild orangutans, it was created many years ago for the rehabilitation of orphaned or rescued animals. They no longer do any ‘rehab’ work here but provide food daily for those who want, or need it. I believe they are only given bananas (largely) so they get bored and not rely on the ‘hand-outs’ but learn to eat the food in the forest.
Naturally as with all wild animals, there is no guarantee how many will turn up – on the day I went three turned up – Richie the main man, Annuar with her under-a-week-old baby, and a young male, Saddam.
With more and more fruit trees being planted in the reserve the animals rarely venture out of the area and some have been transferred to national parks – including a male who Richie had ‘beaten up quite badly’.
I loved visiting here and seeing the orang utans – with their human-like expressions – in the ‘wild’ and especially their beautiful, richly coloured, coats.
As I sit at Auckland Airport my head is racing with all I have to do over the next couple of days (my urgent list) and then over the next month or six weeks, my semi-urgent list.
First on the urgent list is to go back and correct all the spelling mistakes, and links that are not working in the last fifteen or so ‘on-the-road’ blogs: I have been using Windows Live Writer which then sends my blog as an email to WordPress– the only problem is that when I made a mistake and pushed the publish button without checking spelling – I couldn’t work out how to go back and correct them! So that’s the first task. the other problem – a new smaller laptop which has a super-sensitive touchpad which meant I would accidently grab/highlight random phrases and unknowingly dropped them elsewhere in the blog where it made no sense at all –I’m sorry for all you super-sensitive and great spellers for having to endure it all!
Next on the urgent list is to upload nearly 5000 photos and start sorting them;
Then, sort my emails that have kept flowing into my inbox,
In between those jobs, a I will catch up on sleep and write to all the people who have been so hospitable to me – if you visit any of the Northland places I have mentioned, please make sure you tell them you read about it on something the Kiwi Travel Writer wrote .
Last but not least, my final destination was The Kauri Museum: every one I met ‘up North’ who had been there said it was a must do – that’s true, go there, now! I can’t upload my photos now, but will write about it very soon.