Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fwd: Khovd, Mongolia

I am now in Kovd, Mongolia and am heading to Olgii, Mongolia tomorrow.
I don't know how to explain Mongolia (although I do know the key board
here is less than perfect so please excuse any typos) but it is
amazing!! After nearly a week in Ulaanbaatar I have loved being out in
the country!! I took a 27 hour bus ride from UB to Uliastai. The 27
hour bus ride was actually was much better than I anticipated. There
were only few hours here and there were there more people than seats
on the bus!  As the sun doesn't set until 9pm and it is up about 6:30,
I was able to see much of te landscape along the way. We were on a
"road" the entire time, although te road was really just a woren down
path through te grass lands and across a few rivers.

Although Uliastai is not a remarkable city, the countryside around it
is. I took a nigt or 2 to recover fom the long bus ride and stock up
for a trek through Otgon Tenger Strictly Protected Area. The Otgon
Tenger mountain is sacred to Mongolians and it is prohibited to climb
it. As it was gong to cost $60 to hire a car to take us the 40km to te
park, we decided to hitch-hike instead. We were on the sde of te road
for about 2 min when a man stopped.  We pointed on the map where we
wanted to go and piled in, he didnt speak any english, but he said ok
and off we went. We were not sure how far he was goiing to take us or
how much it was going to cost, but we figured it was all part of the
experience! He drove us about 10km and asked for $4- a reasonable
price I think. We got out of te car and were trying to decide ow much
further we had to go to the park when again a car stopped and offered
us a ride. We were driven anoter 10km and then invited in a ger
(traditional mongolian tent) for warm milk and bread. With a happy
stomach, we strapped on our packs and headed off on foot. For the next
3 days we passed countless nomads heardng hundreds of sheep, goats and
horses, we saw wild camels wandering around the hills and saw some of
the most beautiful sunsets I ave ever seen!!! It was truly amazing and
I have loved every minute; I cannot wait to see what I will see next!