claire and david’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010

Location: Tsetserleg, Mongolia

MapToday we are in the Tserkhin Tsaagaan Nuur National Park. Nuur means lake in Mongolian so this afternoon we are walking down and around the lake. It was suggested that we climb some hills but I donít do hills if I can help it.
We have not had an internet connection since we left Ulaan Baatar and at present we have no power either. Hopefully they can get the generator working today or we will have no hot water! Nor will we be able to charge batteries etc.
The trip has been interesting so far. The country is huge. We have been travelling through nomad country with very few little villages. Little English is spoken but our guide is very helpful. The nomad people keep herds of goats and sheep, cattle , horses and yaks. Except for UlaanBaatar we have been staying in gers,the traditional houses of the nomads. They are round, and made of felt with a canvas cover. They are very comfortable usually with 2 or 3 single beds, a fire which is lit each night, and a small table and stools. The days are quite warm but the nights are very cold and becoming more so as we head further north.
Some of the highlights have been seeing the wild Mongolian horses, the Tahki ,in the Hustai national park. These horses were extinct in Mongolia but have been re introduced in 1992 using horses that were in zoos around the world. There are currently 250 in the park. We also saw marmutes and lots of ground squirrels.
Most of the monasteries were destroyed in the 1930ís during the communist era so we have seen some restored ones together with some ruins. We also visited the site of the original capital Kharkoran. I bought 2 more dragons for my collection!
On the trip yesterday our driver Tsoogio stopped at a roadside stall where we bought some airag, which is fermented mares milk. It is somewhat alcoholic but this didnít seem very strong. It tastes a bit like fizzy yoghurt.
The food is not exceptional but the local beer is good and is quite cheap. A large beer costs about $2.50 Aus or less.
The next place we go to is Zuun Nuur another lake.