Got up in the morning, and met 2 girls at breakfast. Siobhán (I thought the whole time it was “Chevonne”) from Ireland and Emily from London. They had planned a trip, and were going to leave in one hour. But after a chat it appeared they were gonna do the things I wanted to do and I could just join them. Lucky me! It would be much cheaper to divide everything by 3! So we had a car+driver Senna that spoke a bit English and we were off.
To Khogno Khaan np. We walked three times around a shaman pole for good luck and then… Magnificent views along the way! You could see so far… Amazing. And such a bleek landscape! (I just learned that word). We saw cows, sheep, wild horses, eagles and even vultures (never saw those before, man they are big)! Then we arrived at a nomad summer camp. The people living there at the moment (every season they go to a different spot) were still genuine. They were wearing traditional clothes, they live in gers, they have sheep, lambs, goats, kids (just learned that word too), horses, foals, camels, and even a baby camel! By the way did you know that a camel is pregnant for 2 years?! And the “baby” is quite big already.
After resting a bit we had a camel ride there.
Up a lonely rock in the wind was a perfect spot to play my harmonics and enjoy watching the day go to sleep…
It was raining. We had to wait until the rain stopped to start driving. That was just after lunch. Then we visited the monastery and started driving to the waterfall of Orkhon valley. We didn’t know at that time that it would take 5 hours driving of mostly unsealed roads. But Senna was an amazing driver. We went where others with with even a jeep were hesitant. The speed was slow of course, but the scenery amazing. We saw our first yaks. And we arrived at our ger at sunset. They quickly put a stove inside to keep us warm and while waiting for dinner we had some vodka and played cards.
We abandoned the plan to go to the hot springs today. It would be another whole day in the car. We decided to walk to the waterfall instead and then to hike for 2 more hours following the river. When we arrived at a beautiful spot with even a layer of ice over the river, we sat down for a bit and meditated.
After lunch at our ger again, we made a horse riding trip. That might have been the highlight for me: riding through rivers and through the whole of this overwhelming scenery. The horses were really well trained to listen to a stranger that well!
Another Senna-rally for us. To xharxhorin! We visited the ancient Buddhist monastery, destroyed and rebuilt, and checked into a hotel.
After dinner (with Chengis Khaan and borshia beer) we went to a karaoke and had good fun for two hours! Mongolian horse songs alternated with English songs.
Somewhat hungover but we had to continue our journey. We saw the stone turtle in xharxhorin and somewhere along the way we also visited a Turkish museum. It was a long driving day to Khustai np. We were almost starting to worry that we wouldn’t find a ger family to stay with. The sun was already setting by the time we finally found one. A genuine one!
Made a walk in Khustai np and drove back to UB.