KHARKHORIN, TSENKHER HOT SPRINGS, TERKHIIN TSAGAAN LAKE ONTO KHUVSGUL LAKE, NORTHERN MONGOLIA AND BACK TO ULAANBAATAR


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July 8th 2018
Published: July 15th 2018
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CENTRAL MONGOLIACENTRAL MONGOLIACENTRAL MONGOLIA

Yak measuring water for us
Well were up bright and early Saturday morning to leave the Orkhon Valley, loads of heavy rain yesterday afternoon and overnight, wondering how we will go getting out of here through three streams/rivers.........first two were fine but third was a no go.....so Chuka went winding all over the place and took a different route to get us out of there. Over bumpy tracks, rocky outcrops about 20klms into the trip we hit another snag.....a very swollen river.....it did have a bridge over it downstream a bit.....but no go for bridge as it is not stable enough...so after doing the yak water measurments (watched a mob of yak cross first) we powered on through the river....boy are we thankful for big powerful 4WDs....and the experience and knowledge of our drivers. John was following the route on his memaps and it was stated as a main road.....there is no way a normal car could have come along this route!!!!Today only 180klms but took 4-5hrs to get to Kharkhorin and the Erdenezuu Monastery, this was once the captial of Mongolia. Visited the massive Buddhist monastery and the local museum. Overnighted in Ger with ensuite so a chance to do washing etc. Lovely lunch and
CENTRAL MONGOLIACENTRAL MONGOLIACENTRAL MONGOLIA

No problems for these vehicles
dinner served at the ger camp...washed down with a few beers and wine and then some watched the World Cup while others hit the hay for another early start. Sunday onto the Tsenkher hot springs only 130klms a very easy day as our ger camp is right at the springs....so had a hour or so walk over to the springs and up to the top of the surrounding hill....lots of greenery and pine trees in this area....so enjoying the landscape...different again. Up early Monday 200klms today to Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake and Khorgo Volcano, over very rough terrain...took us about 5hrs to get here....walked to the top of the volcano but really only for the exercise and steps....a bit unremarkable but lots of people there. Onto the lake and our ger tent tonight on the edge of the lake. Tuesday headed to a cute ger camp called Ulziit Khishig which is in the mountains in the middle of nowhere, just farming land all around.....lots of rolling green hills....yaks, cattle, sheep and goats....230klms today...7hrs thendriving. Absolutely stunning countryside but the roads have not improved.....we reckon there would be no jobs here for road work people, town planners or dozer drivers. Had lunch
CENTRAL MONGOLIACENTRAL MONGOLIACENTRAL MONGOLIA

Storms brewing
in Jargalant Village in a local place and they did it really well, lovely braised beef with mash potatoes and rice.....we have been very lucky with food! During our travels have heard there is an outbreak of "foot and mouth disease" with animals in central/northern Mongolia, apparently according to news reoports there has been martial law implemented....nobody was wanting to talk too much about it but we expect to be grilled and gone over with a fine tooth comb when we arrive in Sydney......we have totally scrubbed the soles of all our shoes so hopefully it will be OK. Our last two days on safari were spent at the Mighty Khuvsgul Lake, stayed in ger camp Dream Khuvsgul.....beautiful camp in the middle of pine forest right on the edge of the southern end of the lake. Ensuites here so it was so nice not having to walk 500mts to a toilet in the middle of the night. The main lodge/restaurant was very pretty made out of timber and glass and their food was delicious.....we ordered our meals one meal ahead each day. This lake is massive 125klms long and in the deepest part 200 metres deep and has over 1% of the worlds fresh water reserve....and so, so clear you could see every stone in the bottom of the lake. We had two days here because we attended the Nadaam Festival, the first on Wednesday in the town of Murun which was a pretty big affair with stadiums etc....the color, the people, the sounds and sights were just amazing....we thoroughly enjoyed it and the following day to a village Khatgal to see their Nadaam, I think we all enjoyed this one the best as you were up close and personal to everything.....and the icing on the cake was the big surprise Chuka and Tovuu organised a permit with the organisers for us to follow the horse races in the 4WDs.....crazy, crazy stuff...the adrenalin was really pumping....we followed the horses from the Nadaam Festival site to the start line of the race and were able to meet a lot of the young jockeys.....aged from 7 to 11 years old....these kids are bought up on horses from the day they are born. So, so beautiful the children were and happy to pose with us for snaps.....not many white people here....we did plan our holiday around the Nadaam Festival which is held in
KHARKHORINKHARKHORINKHARKHORIN

Erdenezuu Monastery
July every year....when I booked with Doogii I said we wanted Nadaam included in our itinerary. We roared alongside the horses for the 14klm course and not one fell off, some rode bare back, some had no shoes but they all had whips....the lowest speed was 40klms an hour....we did make it to the finish in one piece...after ripping through small ditches in the paddocks, rocks and stones.....what a great day this was! Friday our last day on Safari.....one and half hour drive back to Murun to catch a plane back to Ulaanbaatar....Hunnan Airway Mongolia...70 seats......very dilapidated airport. Back in Ulaanbaatar 2pm and then to the Kempinski Hotel..,....LUXURY!!!! Had a lovely LOOONNG hotel shower and then did a little pub crawl around town and ate at the Rosewood Kitchen and Enoteca......gorgeous steak restaurant run by an American guy Cliff....had the best meal of the trip here washed down with a couple of bottles of nice Argentinean red....back to hotel by 10pm as up at 3.30am for our flight from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing. Another wonderful trip has come to an end, sharing it withthree great friends, anyone wanting to go to Mongolia I would highly recommend my travel agent in Ulaanbaatar,
ERDENEZUU MONASTERYERDENEZUU MONASTERYERDENEZUU MONASTERY

A lot of buildings were destroyed but there are three beauties left
Doogii at Dream Mongolia, she is very flexible and can organise a trip however you want to do it.


Additional photos below
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ERDENEZUU MONASTERYERDENEZUU MONASTERY
ERDENEZUU MONASTERY

Lovely old, old buildings
ERDENEZUU MONASTERYERDENEZUU MONASTERY
ERDENEZUU MONASTERY

Surrounded by huge walls
ERDENEZUU MONASTERYERDENEZUU MONASTERY
ERDENEZUU MONASTERY

Temple outside the walls
KHARKHORINKHARKHORIN
KHARKHORIN

Munkthenger ger camp, staff setting our fire
MUNKTHENGER GER CAMPMUNKTHENGER GER CAMP
MUNKTHENGER GER CAMP

Having a nightcap by the fire
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TSENKHER HOT SPRINGS

Getting to know the yaks
ENROUTE IN CENTRAL MONGOLIAENROUTE IN CENTRAL MONGOLIA
ENROUTE IN CENTRAL MONGOLIA

Lovely countryside
TSENKHER HOT SPRINGSTSENKHER HOT SPRINGS
TSENKHER HOT SPRINGS

Love the yak and so many babies
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TSENKHER HOT SPRINGS

Farmland all around our camp tonight
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TSENKHER HOT SPRINGS

Yaks all around us
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SHIVEET MANKHAN

Our camp for tonight
SHIVEET MANKHAN GER CAMPSHIVEET MANKHAN GER CAMP
SHIVEET MANKHAN GER CAMP

Loads of horses here, Mongolians love affair with their animals is just amazing
SHIVEET MANKHAN GER CAMPSHIVEET MANKHAN GER CAMP
SHIVEET MANKHAN GER CAMP

Lots of foals too


15th July 2018
ENROUTE IN CENTRAL MONGOLIA

Central Mongolia
Another wonderful " blog" , even felt I was there with you driving along . Bet you were happy to get across all flooded Rivers when you did , but it all adds to the experience you have , doesn't it ? Your meals sounded really good ,I'm always wondering about food when in other country's ., but I've never ever been ill from eating things when away , thank God . Where to next time ? Thanks again for great info of your travels . Had great day here last Sunday week . Best birthday I've had in years . Sorry you & family were not here. Next time .... Perhaps ! ! ! In ten years. Hey ? ( heaven forbid ) take care & enjoy , love. Norma x x
15th July 2018
ENROUTE IN CENTRAL MONGOLIA

Central Mongolia
Another wonderful " blog" , even felt I was there with you driving along . Bet you were happy to get across all flooded Rivers when you did , but it all adds to the experience you have , doesn't it ? Your meals sounded really good ,I'm always wondering about food when in other country's ., but I've never ever been ill from eating things when away , thank God . Where to next time ? Thanks again for great info of your travels . Had great day here last Sunday week . Best birthday I've had in years . Sorry you & family were not here. Next time .... Perhaps ! ! ! In ten years. Hey ? ( heaven forbid ) take care & enjoy , love. Norma x x

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