Days spent: 21
The route went througth Mongolia. Expedition numbered 7 persons.
So, we start our yet another expedition from the capital of faraway Mongolia – Ulan Bator.
After a quick walk we go to a Mongolian specialty restaurant.
We conclude our stay in the capital by taking an evening walk in the center of the city.
This expedition was organized by our friend Jergal, who kindly provided us with his to jeeps fully stocked for a long-term expedition.
We rely on competence of our guides and drivers Aldraa and Baysaa, so that we would be able to spend these twenty days in harmony with nature.
So, we are going eastwards in order to see the biggest Mongolian Genghis Khan statue.
This forty meter high statue rises majestically above scenery. More than 250 tons of stainless steel was spent for its creation. And it is time for us to go south, to Gobi desert.
It is lunchtime and our drivers head towards a picturesque place on the riverside.
The first day of our trip has imperceptibly come to an end, and we have to look for a place to spend the night.
The morning has come and we continue our way. Today we will get to know for the first time one of the most inhospitable places on Earth – Gobi desert.
Gobi desert stretches from Altai Mountains in the West to the North China Plain in the East and is the largest Asian desert. The word “Gobi” is of Mongolian origin and means “waterless place”. So, we will spend the next few days in this beautiful wild place at one with nature.
Evening comes and we stop for our first night in Gobi desert.
Further we will go to Demchigiin Khiid monastery. It is where one of the Earth’s energy centres.
Buddhist pilgrims come here to feed off it with new energy, new strength, shrive and date up Danzanravjaa himself in the kingdom of Shambhala, by performing a certain ceremony. This place stands out for its inimitably beautiful scenery.
This day has come to its end and our guide Aldraa suggested us to make it to picturesque rocky formations and stay there overnight.
Our “Chef” Andrey Porosenkov suggested to cook a genuine borscht in Gobi desert, in order to share impressions about days spent in our expedition over a glass of vodka.
Borscht was splendid! And we spent a wonderful evening in the heart of Gobi desert.
Further we will head off westwards, up the Gobi desert, to the Yolyn Am gorge, where we will get acquainted with local museum and take a three-hour walk along picturesque canyon.
The walk was a success. We warmed up a little and now are ready to go further, to continue our acquaintance with the gorge down one of the most picturesque Mongolian roads. And towards evening we hope to make it to the great Khongoryn Els sand dunes, where we plan to stay for the night.
We’ve chosen a place to set the camp at the foot of the sand dune, in order to climb it later.
Further we will head off northwards through the Gobi desert to the ancient capital of Mongolia – the city of Karakorum. On our way we once again met camels.
We stopped near one of the yurts in the middle of nowhere on the edge of Gobi desert in order to get fresh kumis and go further, to the north of Mongolia.
Taking farewell of Gobi desert, we decided to spend the night in a beautiful canyon, away from civilization, and of course – to go fishing.
To our guides’ surprise, we decided to bake some meat pastries. And in the evening we hope to catch some fish to cook fish soup.
Finally we’ve made it to the ancient capital of Genghis Khan’s Empire.
It is difficult to believe that namely here, in the head of Orkhon river, there was the capital of Genghis Khan’s Empire. The strings of control over tremendous Mongolian Empire had converged in Karakorum and namely here the roads were laid from the main cities of bordering countries of that days.
Having said goodbye to the ancient capital of Mongolia we continue our way northwards and impatiently wait for the opportunity to finally go fishing for taimen – the master of local rivers.
In the picturesque valley of the Tamir river there is the Great Taihar Stone. There is a beautiful legend about salvation of a village from a giant dragon by young man named Arelan related to this stone.
Today we will see one of the Nature’s Wonders – canyon of the Chuluut River. On our way our guide Aldraa had unexpectedly proposed to stop near one of the yurts where the hosts served us with local delicacies.
While leaving, we couldn’t understand why did this family made us welcome. Only after we drove off, Aldraa told us that these were the close relatives of our friend Jergal. We are so grateful for their gifts and hospitality!
The canyon of the Chuluut River is one of the Wonders of Nature. It is almost 300 meters deep. Its rapid flows are inhabited by taimens, as well as lenoks and graylings.
We liked the canyon very much and we decided to spend two days in this picturesque place in order to fish properly and to take a little rest from endless relocations.
The fishing succeeded, even though we didn’t catch any taimen, and this day is as usual concluded by a perfect dinner, .
Togoo volcano is situated on the Khorgo mountain not far from Terkhiin lake. Its black cinder cone is 2240 meters above sea level. The volcano is about two hundred meters wide, and the summit crater is more than one hundred meters deep. It was formed about one million years ago. From its top one can see the Terkhiin lake, where we will spend the rest of this day.
Today we are going to meet the Mongolian folk music group.
We thank those who organized this performance, and we head towards the place of our next fishing trip.
The new day has come and we have to go. On our way our driver and guide Aldraa told us that he wants to invite us to his friend to taste lamb meet cooked on stones in accordance with Mongolian traditions, that is why he is going to change the rout a little and we are going to the most remote places of northern Mongolia.
In evening we made it to the Selenga river where we set the camp in a picturesque place.
It is great that Aldraa has picked namely this way. One can rarely see such pristine beauty of wild nature.
Today we were joined by our friend and organizer of the expedition Jergal and head towards the place of fishing for taimen near the Russian border. Here we will spend the last two days of our expedition and we hope to get lucky with the fishing and to finally catch a large taimen.
Fortune smiled on us on the last day of fishing – we caught a large taimen on a spoon lure.
Our expedition has come to an end. In twenty-one days, we covered more than four thousand kilometres over illimitable Mongolian spaces.
We are very grateful to my friend Jergal for organizing this expedition. It would be impossible without him. And of course we are grateful to our drivers and guides Aldraa and Baysaa for their competence.
P.S. Before taking farewell, we’ve agreed to organize one more expedition. This time we are going to travel over Altai Mountains from Russia to Mongolia. We hope to succeed…
Film: “Mongolia. In Harmony with Nature”.