July 12, 2009

7/13/09 Khorgo Ger Camp

It was a little chilly last night but it was a beautiful morning. We hit the road by eight which was a good thing because we were to be driving all day. The amazing thing was we followed a new highway being built almost the whole way, but we couldn't use it. Instead, we bounced our way along meandering tracks on both sides of the road.

Tsetserleg: Mongolia's most beautiful aimag capital

Why take one road when you can have your choice

Mongolian Grand Canyon

Moving day using camels

Bysa getting stuck in the mud

Up to now, Gyatso had done all the driving. I was supposed to take a turn today but he said he'd like to continue (plus I think he felt responsible for the rental car). So instead of hogging the front seat, I gave it to Fran today. I can't really say if this road was any more rough that yesterday, but sitting in the backseat is definitely a tough place to be. I sat on one side, Glenda on the other, with Lily in the middle.

We stopped for lunch on the side of the road and then drove a few more hours. Finally we made it to Khorgo National Park which is amid volcanic craters and pine-clad lava fields at an altitude of 2200-m (7220-ft). We passed quite a few lava fields before reaching Terkhiin Tsagan Lake.

We stopped for several hours so everyone could enjoy themselves. Some went swimming (the water was very, very cold) and others tried fishing. Mostly we all just relaxed.

Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur = Great While Lake

Everyone on the beach

Bysa taking the raft out for a little fishing

How monks and nuns relax at the beach

Our ger camp, Khorgo Camp is near one of the volcanic craters. Bysa took a bunch of the group on a climb to the top of the crater while the rest of us settled into camp. The camp is very good, a lot showers in a very good bath house, excellent dinner, hot water for tea was left in our ger and they even offered to start a fire for us. A really nice place.

For more pictures, click here!