Travel Journal

Western Mongolia, a 24 day trip

(Saturday 18 August 2007) by Lynda
Never seen such an amazing place and so many changes in landscape within one country. The trip was quite hard (see facts below) but definitely worth it. Bumping around in the Landcruiser and see the landscape change when you enter yet another valley (we calculated distances not in miles or km but in valleys to cross), watched the wildlife along the roads, and simply enjoyed it. We started in the north at Khovsgul Nuur (Nuur = lake) and continued west to see Bayan Nuur, Uvs Nuur, Ureg Nuur, Achit Nuur and finally Khoton Nuur. All lakes have their own identity and color; never known that water could have so many different shades of blue. The first real
Glacier on Tsambagarav Uul
Glacier on Tsambagarav Uul
mountains we saw was when we entered Bayan-Olgii aimag; a range of snow peaked mountains towering over us, truly impressive. The weather got colder when we reached the west so no swimming in these beautiful lakes. The people also changed, where mainland Mongolia is populated by Mongols, the west is dominated by Kazakhs (the same ethnic group as neighboring Kazakhstan), even their gers are differently shaped and much more colorful on the inside. The language is different from Mongol so our guide had a pretty hard time to
Eagle used for eagle hunting (Altai region)
Eagle used for eagle hunting (Altai region)
find our way to specific places. Most nights we camped along a river or next to a lake except for rainy days when we slept with nomad families in their gers. Their hospitality is wonderful, the family just sleeps on the floor and the guests can sleep in their beds. We visited a Kazakh family with their eagle, the eagle is used for eagle hunting in winter and their son took us op to the 2nd highest mountain of Mongolia to see the glazier. Think it's the highest point I've even been, 3.500 meters and it was awesome. The glacier melting and forming fountains and waterfalls of melting water, bluest sky I have ever seen and the view from up there....feeling on top of the world. Yes, I'm very happy and feeling very privileged to be here.
Traveling back to UB was not really exciting, except for the day we crossed the Gobi desert.... it rains about 1 day a year and of course...... we've seen it, all day long!!!! After 24 days we arrived back in UB, tired, dirty but full of excitement of all the beautiful things we've seen and all the nice people we've met on the way.

Yes, we know where we want to go!!!!
Yes, we know where we want to go!!!!
Some facts:
1 group change (the group split up in 2 groups after 6 days)
2 dead batteries
3 people sick from food poisoning (shashlick cooked on a fire???)
less than 5% paved roads in Mongolia
7 flat tires (last one just 0,5 km before UB)
7 different cars and drivers
9 aimag's crossed or visited
19 people in 1 ger and 1 baby goat
3.500 meters climbing to the glacier
4.300 km covered
million thanks to the people who made this possible: Nagi (guide), Tuschik (driver #7) and ofcourse Lu and Mal for being the best traveling mates!!!!




Mongolia has got a special place in my heart and I'm sure I will come back to this truly wild country.

Lynda

Want to see more pictures? See gallery or links (link to Flickr with all my pictures from Holland to Mongolia)

  • Great pictures by Karin
  • Safe and sound by Joost
    • Story by Pinda
      • Cool! by Joost
  • We want to stop by.... by Frans & Ellen
  • Geweldig!! by Inge
  • Prachtig by Rob B


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