In the year 2007 we had the great opportunity to accompany Amara on trip through Mongolia. We arrived 30th of July 2007 in Ulan Bator and continued to Murun by plane on the same day. Murun is located in the north of Mongolia close to the lake Hovsgol. The following four days we spent in a tourist camp next to the lake. We slept in the original gers – Mongolian tents as used by the nomadic people. The water of the lake is very clear and sometimes appears Caribbean turquoise. The vegetation is luscious green with vast larch forests and reminded us of pictures of northern Canada or Alaska. Beside the amazing landscape the bright and clear sky is striking. For the first time in life we understand the expression Milky Way. Similar to a luminous belt it covers the complete sky. During this stay we got had the great chance to get to know Mongolian people, to do a boat trip and extensive horse trips.
After the camp we pursued our trip by plane to our next destination Hovd. From Hovd we went on with two jeeps. In Hovd and the surroundings the landscape is much dryer than in the north. You see less forest but extensive grasslands. Our bivouac was next to the lake Har Us some kilometres away from Hovd. The lake is famous for its manifold bird populations you can observe with some patience. We spent the night in small tents. As the following next ten days tents have to be set up each evening and taken down each morning.
The ext day we entered the mountain chain Mongolian Altay. We passed by Doshin Uul. The location is famous for its cave with Stone Age drawings inside. The drawings are about 30,000 years old and show different kind of animals that were hunted during this age. It is incredible how vividly these drawings still appear to be. From this location we climbed up the mountains with our jeeps. We passed reams of small rivers and areas which seem to be original and wild. Our campsite for the night was next the mountain Morh Hayrhan Uul (altitude 4204 m). The mountain is covered by a glacier. The coming day we climbed up the mountain to an altitude of about 4000 m. From that position we had an incredibly long-distance view. We even could see some of the spots we passed by the days before. Our campsite was next to a Mongolian family that had its camp there including all animals, i.e. yaks, sheep, goats, horses and some dogs. Due to our Mongolian guide we quickly got in contact with them. Although communication was difficult for us foreigners they welcomed us warmly. On the next two days we continued in the mountain chain Altay. Landscape did not change a lot during this day since we stayed on the same altitude.
After leaving the mountain chain and entered the dessert Gobi Altay. Within some kilometres the scenery changed completely. Leaving the mountains we entered the area totally plain and dry. Except for some bushes the vegetation is very spare. We followed a trail which led us directly in the dessert. After some kilometres the trail ended in a spot with a small parched watering place and we had to find the way on our own. It felt somehow eerie to drive through an area reputed to be hostile totally alone. However with the aid of our guides we found the following way through the dessert even without any problems. During our trip through the desert Gobi we had the golden opportunity to see the original wild horses (called Przewalski horse or Takhi) closely in free nature although these horses are very shy. You can easily distinguish them from domesticated horses.
After the one week lasting trip through the southern-western part of Mongolia we came to the city Altay. After our first first night in solid beds after several days we flew back to Ulan Bator and from there back to our home.
All in all I can recommend a trip to everybody that loves pure and original nature. You will drive kilometres without seeing anything made by men. The landscape is impressive, wide grasslands and immensive mountains, as well as a extensive dessert and dry plains. You will see animals that are very rare or not even existing in other parts of the world as yaks, wild horses, eagles, camels, different kind of reptiles and so one. This trip gives you a feeling of how nomadic live must be. Life kilometres away of any civilisation, depending completely on the products provided by the nature surrounding you. Beyond the amazing landscape you find every now and again evidence of Mongolian history, as ancient hun graves and stone age drawings.
Mongolian people are very kind, although they are reserved with foreigner, especially in the countryside. However, if you respect their live and their rules they become open and interested in ones life and experiences. We had several chances to take part in the daily life of Nomadic people and it was interesting to see that their life is entirely integrated in nature
After coming back to our home we often have to think in the adventure and experience we made. It is always a pleasure to open the photo album and to revive our impressions.
Christa and Henning, Munich, Germany