dimarts, 30 d’agost de 2011

Khovsgol Lake & The North of Mongolia

Our last week in Mongolia was the best one of the trip. We arrived to Khovsgol Lake (the 2nd most pure water lake in the world) where we spent 2 nights in a ger camp site. Mongolia's northern landscapes are beautiful. In Khovsgol lake, the animals live surrounded by nature everywhere, even if they are wilds or domestics. We enjoyed our free time riding horses along the lake, eating yak's meet and doing some picture competition between us. Sandra had the courage to swim in the cold water of the Khovsgol lake, while Ariadna, Eli & me had been resting & sunbathing next to her. Finally, at the end of the trip, we went to Amarbayasgalant Monastery near UB city, which has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. I should recognize that it was beautiful, of course, but it was also disgusting for me to find so many pigeons inside!

diumenge, 28 d’agost de 2011

Kharkhorin & Erdene Zuu ・Central Mongolia

The second week of the trip, after visiting the Gobi desert, we went to Central Mongolia. It was not a crowded area (actually, nowhere in the country was) but we found some villages on the way like Kharkhorin (the ancient capital of the country) and not so far, the Erdene Zuu Monastery, one of the biggests in Mongolia. After visiting the monastery and praying some sutras and mantras, I figured out that Mongolia's Buddhism is exactly the same religious movement than in Tibet. However, the smell inside the monasteries is different from Tibet. The smell of the monasteries from Tibet is yak's butter mixed with incense, while the smell of Mongolian ones is rosemary outside & myrrh incense inside. Some other nice activities we did over there were trekkings & photography. At the end of the 2nd week we arrived to Tsagaan Nuur (White Lake in mongolian) where we could enjoy fresh weather, a lovely horse ride walk and sweets cakes!

dissabte, 27 d’agost de 2011

Khongor sand dunes in the Gobi Desert

After 3 days touring Mongolia to the south, we finally arrived to the Gobi desert. The landscape we saw through the windows of our russian van had been changing all the time... everything became nothing, just sand, dunes and us. Amazing! Even the hottest temperatures ever suffered! Almost 40 ºC. So, next morning, we woke up at 6 a.m. with the sunrise & without having breakfast, we got ready to discover the Khongor sand dunes. Our walk tour by our own lasted almost 3 hours through the steppe, crossing the river and jumping the dunes. Around 9 a.m. the temperature was so hot that some locals took us back by car to our ger for free. On the afternoon, our guides organized for us a camel riding experience which I enjoyed a lot! Mongolian people are so nice! Next day we went to Yol Am also known as Eagle Valley where we knew some local people on the way and we'd been sharing their food and beverages. I remember the moment when we could take a shower after 4 days of non-stop sweating for 4000 tugrug (the official currency of Mongolia equivalent to 2 €). How about the food in the Gobi? Sincerely, aweful. Unfortunately, They don't have a lot of choices. So, we ate mutton dumplings again! We got sick of eating always the same, but the locals were so nice with us, specially the kids, so we definetely enjoyed our meals. As you can see on the pictures, mongolian babies are so cute, don't you agree?

dimecres, 24 d’agost de 2011

Mongolia, the land of the blue sky

Home, sweet home. I just got back from Mongolia after a 22 hours odyssey between airports and aircrafts of Korean Air. However, it's definitely worth it. Our trip around the country was simply amazing. We've been traveling from UB city to the southern province of Gobi desert where we spent 4 nights without any option to take a shower or eating nothing else but mutton. But we've been riding a camel for almost 3 hours in the lovely sand dunes of the Gobi desert, tasting the flavour of the traditional national beverage called "airag" (fermented mare's milk) and meeting new locals. I'll tell you more details about our 22 days trip around Mongolia with Khongor Expedition soon. I promise!

dilluns, 1 d’agost de 2011

"Let your memory be your travel bag"

... said Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I'm almost ready to go to the most amazing trip I've been wishing for so long. I'm going to discover the Serengeti of the 7th largest country in Asia, where only 2.8 milion people are living in an area larger than the overall combined territory of Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy! I'll probably spend 3 weeks among people under 30 years old who speaks khalka mongolian language (75% of the population). We're traveling with Korean Air from Barcelona to Ulaan Bataar and then, walking, driving, riding a horse or a camel, enjoying nomadic life, learning different ways to live, having a lot of new experiences and sharing ours. I'm so excited about this trip to Mongolia! See you soon!