Edit Blog Post
Published: October 27th 2013
After 100 hours of train from Moscow, on the morning of 14th of October, we made it to Ulan Baator. A driver picked up us just before sunset to make our way to the Terelj National Park. In the city, it must have been something like minus 10 Celsius...it's already winter here!
UB, aka Ulan Baator early morning looks like in the middle of a property boom...till, not sure I ever want to live here...but that will be for next blog.
But we were not here to discover Ulan Baator...the plan, and it's the same for most tourists...was to discover Mongolia...or rather, it's beautiful countryside...
Now the trick is...it's middle of October, the official season is over....we have just spent nearly 5 days on a train....Mongolia has a bad reputation for food...and it was out of question to sleep in a hard bed!
I did my homework...properly...and settle for the Tuul River Lodge, in the Terejl National Park, just outside of Ulan Baator. The place is not cheap, but they seem to have great reviews! So we ride the 4by4 for a good 40 minutes to the outskirts of
the city...before moving to...a proper truck...able to go wherever. The lodge is actually just 90 minutes from downtown, but we found out this is perfect...once you are behind the hills...there is not really a need for one or two more hours of crazy tracks...getting to paradise doesn't mean you have to travel for hours!
Once we arrived at the camp, there were only 3 guests, and they are leaving 20 minutes after we arrived. There is Piper, and her two friends from NY. As Piper is living in Mongolia for the last 14 months, I asked here what she thinks of the different camps in the country. Did I do the right choice? What about Three Camels...huge reviews, but way more expensive. She confirmed me we chose the best place, and Three Camels is just about marketing...and the food is way better where we are. Oh, and if you want to know, I think Piper knows pretty well, she is the US ambassador to Mongolia...I know, kind of fun!
So we found ourselves....on our own, for the next three days at the Tuul River Lodge. I would have loved to ride horses...but the first
two days the horseman is not here, his wife has just had an accident and was sent to hospital in Ulan Baator. She is fine, but no horse riding for us. We went for few walks. You know, those things that city people call trekking...but which is nothing else than enjoying the fresh air...going up and down little hills...
One afternoon, we also went canoeing...well...they try to explain to me that maybe it was not a great idea with two babies. Well...Tiffany and Leslie are babies when I need to try to pay the child fare...but don't take Leslie for a baby when he goes on a river...he is experienced...canoeing...if he can do rafting...that should be easy. Well....yes, but we did it without a guide...and the river has a good habit of...having funny little islands in the middle...or too many cut trees that nobody ever wanted to moved away. The water was beautiful...and something like 8 degrees Celsius...the air must have been just below the freezing point...so it was out of the question to have Leslie or Tiffany wet...and we did have Tiffany fully geared...in her ski outfit!
Nevertheless, we made it...and that was
an amazing afternoon...which could have even extended past sunset...but that was not a good idea!
For info...Mongolia under the snow...is even more beautiful. They had serious snow 48 hours before we arrived...by the time we left most of it had melt...so if I need to compare...snow here...is better!
Our camp, they call it a lodge, was a cool place. We had amazing food...not sure most of it was Mongolian...but after all those days on the train, it was great to have all those veggies and meat...
Our ger was super comfortable. Due to the freezing temperature...no more shower or running water...but we had the chemical toilet...and a huge bucket of boiling water to clean ourselves. They also made sure the fire never stop...let it be at 10pm...or 6 am...and those mattresses....soft...with huge duvets....I love this place!
It was soon time to leave...and we left with the staff...not sure when they would expect their next guests. We made it back to Ulan Baator, but that's another story.
Camping in Mongolia, Leslie and Tiffany won't forget it tomorrow...specially with all that time Leslie spent playing the archer!
Tot: 0.042s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 13; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0091s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb