Posts for July, 2013


An afternoon visitor (Khar-Us Nuur, Mongolia)

Journal entry for Monday 1st Jul, 2013 (day 89, miles 6,484)

We had a somewhat shorter day today as we travelled only about 70 km to a lake called variously Khar-Us Nuur or Olgly Nuur. Arriving just after noon we occupied ourselves for a while doing some modifications to the latch on one of the cabinet drawers. After the chores we moved the vehicle to the lake shore and started to settle in, paddled in the lake, got out the camp chairs and started our afternoon cocktails. About this time a middle aged local man appeared on his horse and promptly sat in one of our camp chairs and started drinking the beer I had opened for myself. During the course of the next hour or so we had a very limited conversation, served him a few more beers and other assorted refreshments, and took a few photos of him.

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Looking for vegetables (Khovd, Mongolia)

Journal entry for Tuesday 2nd Jul, 2013 (day 90, miles 6,582)

Our route south today (for the first 100 km) was on a road that continued to be nothing more than vehicle ruts in the steppes. The scenery was spectacular with colorful mountains all around, and those to the west were set off wonderfully by the morning light. About lunch time we saw a large body of water to the south and slightly east, our map named it Khar-Us Nuur (hang on wasn't that the same name as last nights lake ?? - we have noticed that many place names get used over and over again in Mongolia - very confusing for tourists).

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Vegetables and wash day (again) (Churgin Guur, Mongolia)

Journal entry for Wednesday 3rd Jul, 2013 (day 91, miles 6,624)

This morning we went back into Khovd spent some time on the internet and once again tried the market for vegetables. This time we went armed with Mongolian words for a range of vegetables. Eventually we were shown the way to the right section of the market and it immediately became obvious why we had so much trouble yesterday. Not only was it way out in the back blocks of the market area but also there were only a few stalls selling any type of vegetables, and they had only the most lmited supply. very small totatoes, one or two onions, and some long thin green things that looked a bit like cucumbers. This was proof to us that Mongolians do not eat a lot of vegetables.

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Mountains and bikers (Tolbo Nuur, Mongolia)

Journal entry for Thursday 4th Jul, 2013 (day 92, miles 6,692)

From last nights camping spot the road climbed through a series of river valleys over increasingly rough road or tracks to the highest point so far on this trip, 8660'. Along the way we passed through a couple of small villages and saw the inevitable herds of cows, sheep, goats, and camels. Late in the morning we were waved down by a pair of young boys who were out patrolling their herds on horse back. We were a little surprised that one of them spoke reasonably good English. Among other things he told us that he was "Kazak not Mongolian". We gave them some treats we carry for just such an occassion - immediately he asked (via sign language) if we had something to drink. We gave him a carton of fruit juice to which his response was - "one for my friend". He will be a successful animal trader some day.

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A few days break (Olgii, Mongolia)

Journal entry for Friday 5th Jul, 2013 (day 93, miles 6,732)

The 60km into Olgii today was slow as the road was rough (again) with many different tracks to choose from and lots of road work (a new road is being built but so far it is not ready for use). About 10 km out from the town we came upon a large group of vehicles and people walking and riding horses, some of the horses where covered in bright rugs and some of the children were dressed as jockies, we could only guess that it was some kind of informal race.

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To the border (Olgii, Mongolia)

Journal entry for Monday 8th Jul, 2013 (day 96, miles 6,790)

We (actually me) spent the morning procrastinating about our departure. Showers, email updates, talking to all the other travelers at the guesthouse. But eventually I accepted Nina's argument that we needed to start towards the Russian-Mongolian border so that we were in a position to cross into Russia tomorrow as the Mongolian side of the border might be closed Wednesday for the national Naadam festival. So eventually we manouvered our way out through the guesthouse gate, changed most of our Mongolian money into Russia roubles at one of the towns bank and then hit the road towards the town of Tsagaanuur.

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