As I said in my last post the Capital, Ulan Bator, is a horrible place but I will forgive it a little as the rest of the country is amazingly beautiful.
There isn’t that many places in the world where you can go from steppe (flats), mountains, desert, valleys & waterfalls all within a few hours of each other.
I did a 4 day outing with 2 spanish, 2 brazilians and a mongolian translator & driver:
Day one: We left quite late and heading west out of UB we had a chunk of driving to do to get to the family we were staying with that night before dark so we didn’t do much other than sit in the car for 6 hours and stopping for a late lunch at some point. This was our first experiance of the mongolian toilet (god I wish video had smell so you guys would know the pain).
We got to our family and into our ger about 7. Had a quick dinner before cracking out a bottle of Australian red and a deck of Uno cards.
Day Two: Starting with a bad breakfast of very hard (but tasty) biscuits and crackers and nothing to put on them we headed to the Monastery that now sits on the ruins of what was Karakorum city. The monastery was great. It’s now government protected and gets some funding to try and restore the damage the soviets did and our guide seemed to know her stuff. She explained about the temples, the Buddhism practised by the Mongolians (which i would get wrong if I tried to explain) and the history of the place.
Only 12 (I think) of the original 62 temples still exist.
Next we were taken to this lovely rock:
which was only built this year becuase the orginal was starting to look worse for wear
Basically like all fertitly stuff its mean to the help women get pregnant by sitting on it.
4-5 hours drive later the scenary changed again and we ended up at our next ger and the waterfall!
After some pictures, a walk around, quick swim under the fall (it wasn’t as cold as Lake Baikal!) it was time for a bit of horse riding before dinner.
The mongolian horses are small, strong and pretty damn fast… well they are meant to be if you get them in the morning when they haven’t been riding all day. Ours were tired, hungry & thirsty. It was still nice and it caused me my hips to hate me after.
Day Three: Long drive to the mini gobi and all that awaited us was 1 hour of horrible pain on top of a camel
<Pedro has camel photos>
then to our family to settle down for the night
Day Four: Before the long drive back to UB we were taken to a small temple in the valley. It was a lovely area and I took some video to try and capture that:
And thats it. 2 more nights in UB before jumping on the 32 hour train to Beijing.