GOBI DESERT TO CENTRAL MONGOLIA


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July 3rd 2018
Published: July 8th 2018
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TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMPTSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMPTSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP

Our first ger camp in the Gobi
Sunday on the road again today a big day of driving 490klm down to the Gobi Desert. This country is just amazing, really is a last frontier, we drove through such a changing landscape….rolling plains, with cattle, camels, sheep, goats by the thousands….then into desert…..dusty, sandy, gibbery plains….stopped off in a little town for lunch and it was lovely, still cannot believe what they produce in the back blocks of Mongolia. Then onto the Tsagaan Suvarga…the most amazing rock formation protruding out of the ground in the middle of the desert…..over thousands of years the wind has created this amazing structure. Then onto our Ger Camp Tsagaan Survarga….very, very basic….our own ger tents but shower blocks about 50 metres away with three toilets and two showers….but we managed and had dinner altogether in the restaurant with a few beers. Prior to dinner our guide Tovuu took us on an unplanned walk to some mountains in the distance where there was a cave…..3klms each way….a great walk. Then an unplanned pj party at our Ger tent….lots of vodka, Limon cello, beers and bubbles….ALL HOT…this camp only has solar power. Up Tuesday morning and onto the Yol Valley…… through the desert and then
TERELJ NATIONAL PARKTERELJ NATIONAL PARKTERELJ NATIONAL PARK

Dream Terelj staff farwell
we hit some green and driving up this beautiful valley to a carpark and then walked 5klms into the Vulture Canyon which is nestled in between the peaks of the Three Beauties…the sheer rock walls were just so imposing with a gorgeous stream running down the middle of the gorge….after about 2klms walk in we came across the remains of the frozen stream….middle of summer and huge ice blocks still in the gorge. Lunch in a local restaurant…..fantastic steak! Onto the Natural History museum where there were dinosaur eggs and bones. Then onto our next Ger Camp, Gobi Nomad Lodge, luxury this one is, 24 hrs electricity and ensuite bathroom…nice to get a good mix of accommodation. 300klms today over very rough and dusty terrain. We keep pinching ourselves every day....Mongolia is such a beautiful country and the people are even more beautiful....so helpful, honest and simply outstanding people...get here quick before we all stuff it up (tourism). Tuesday 3rd on to The Khongur sand dunes and camel riding....the drive was around 200klm today again rugged roads, but to see the Khongor sand dunes bursting out of the Gobi Desert was a wonderful thing to see.. We walked about halfway
TSAAGAN SUVARGA TSAAGAN SUVARGA TSAAGAN SUVARGA

Out in the middle of the Gobi
up the dunes but it was very steep and rugged with the wind blowing a sand storm we gave up....sometimes the area is only several hundred metres wide but can grow 7-20klms. We went camel riding much to most of our disgust...they are smelly, snorting snot and not very nice animals....the camel camp nomads took us into their ger for afternoon tea....only a couple partook in this!! After 50 minutes on the camels we all had very sore bottoms and were glad to get off. Overnight at Gobi Erdene and again we had ensuites in little log cabins this time. Wednesday onto the Flaming Cliffs....another formation of rocky mountains popping up in the Gobi quite red in color.....this is well renowned as being "Dinosaur Cemetery" excavated by an American explorer in 1922.....absolutely stunning! Then we drove onto Ongi Temple, interesting ruins from two monasteries! Stayed in Ger Camp "Secret of Ongi" good walk to showers and toilets but very clean and well kept....sunset drinks out on their terrace and then a lovely dinner. Thursday started heading north another 300klms and now the landscrape really does change.....getting more green and lush....roads running everywhere....I would never like to do this trip on
TSAAGAN SUVARGA TSAAGAN SUVARGA TSAAGAN SUVARGA

Hiked down into the canyon
my own....we have two amazing drivers one been doing it for 15 years and the other 4 years....they know their land very well and know short cuts etc. 300klms on we arrive into the Orkhon Valley which has been UNESCO heritage since 2005 with the mighty Orkhon River running down the valley....our ger camp Orkhon Waterfall. 2 nights here ...small camp with 14 gers but lovely people, clean showers and toilets. We walked 2klms into the waterfall and did a hike down to the bottom to the river and walked along it to see the waterfall close up. Our guide Tovuu was here about 10 days ago and said there was not water flowing over the waterfall but there sure is now. On our way in we had to cross a couple of rivers and streams....we were stopped by a German couple doing a trip solo and they said the road was impassable so they followed us and of course our guys just powered on and through the water....this trip would be a 4WD enthusiasts dream...we all made it in OK. Second day we visited a nomadic family and did some horseriding. The nomadic family was very interesting....they were boiling
TSAAGAN SUVARGA TSAAGAN SUVARGA TSAAGAN SUVARGA

Out in the middle of nowhere
up fermented mares milk....aaarrggg....not our thing and also wanted us to try their cream, milk and yoghurt....lovely but NO THANKS! Horseriding....none of us were really that keen as we had seen some very frisky horses....and what made it even worse whilst we were waiting...the guy who runs the show came belting down the river on his horse and it bucked him off...what a sight that was! Anyway we all decided to partake and enjoyed it....but within five minutes of getting off the horses....down came the rain....very sluggish ride back to the ger camp, water everywhere. Much cooler here too 33 degrees average in Gobi and now down to 18, some put their fires on in the gers but got very hot. John and I didn't as it was better just to add another blanket when needed. Our drivers with two days with not a lot to do....caught a Marmot....I don't know where....and I caught them with a blow torch singeing the hair off it to cook for dinner....disgusting!!!!!....asking us if we wanted some...delicious they said....then Mark came up with the theory that they are are the only animals that has bubonic plague....whoaaaa!!!....we ran this past our guide and he said
DRESSUPS IN THE GER CAMPDRESSUPS IN THE GER CAMPDRESSUPS IN THE GER CAMP

Steve and John look the part
"once cooked no disease".....NO THANK YOU! The Orkhon Valley is one of the most wonderful areas I have been.....so, so beautiful. Sorry if this blog is a bit long but not having internet strong enough to load anything for days you have two blogs in two days and this one covers a lot of ground.


Additional photos below
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TSAAGAN SUVARGA TSAAGAN SUVARGA
TSAAGAN SUVARGA

Had a great hike around this area
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Being a Mongolian
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Sometimes we ran across an underwater spring so there was the very rare patch of green along the way and where the stock congregated
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Vulture in flight
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Watering hole
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMPTSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP

Sundowners before dinner
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Secret of Ongi Camp farwell
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SECRET OF ONGI CAMP

Our vehicles do a great job
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Lovely clear skies
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Camel riding
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Rocks and dirt
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMPTSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP

Kids are the same the world over playing in the dirt
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMPTSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP

Probably our most basic camp so far
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMPTSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP
TSAAGAN SUVARGA GER CAMP

Amazed to see a rainbow out here


9th July 2018
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Dress Ups
Well ! You have certainly been to a variety of places .i can imagine that these folk would welcome you with open arms .thanks for interesting blog AGAIN . Had great party ,food fabulous ,everyone raved about it . Just on 50 people came . Cards galore ,thank you for your good wishes too . My room resembles a florist shop today ,but nice ! ! ! Had savoury part catered for Janets friends brought desserts etc. far too much food ,but better that way than being short. Your trip sounds great ,enjoy whist you can & thanks for your blogs ,I really enjoy them, take care love. Noravx x

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