Day 19: Ulaanbaatar - Ogii Nuur

Ogiy Lake Travel Blog

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rounding up the horses

On the road again. A new tour, with new travel companions, a new driver and a new Uaz. To start with the latter, the Uaz was slightly less original than Nora's Uaz on the Gobi trip. This one was pimped up a little, with big antennas, additional headlights, tinted windows, a sun roof and most importantly: comfortable reclining seats in the back! Though Nora's Uaz had much more character, we certainly welcomed the additional luxury. Baatar, our new driver, was a nice fellow, who spoke a bit more English than Nora, but at the same time he was far less involved

Lastly our new travel companions, who were a very international bunch. A Polish French-Canadian and an Australian South-African with a British passport... The former a really nice girl with a great philosophy on life, the latter a smelly, obnoxious alcoholic whose presence somewhat ruined our trip :-(

The drive was very long today.

Ogii Nuur
Like the previous trip we had chosen to do the bulk of the driving on the first two days, so that we would have shorter drives on the return journey. The 'highway' out of Ulaanbaatar was being restored, which meant that for the most part we were driving next to the road, in the dirt, resulting in an extremely bumpy ride.

Another change to the previous trip was that we would have plenty of opportunities for lunch along the way, so this time we hadn't have to cook our own lunches, but were able to sample the local cuisine along the way. Not that today's was much to write home about. We stopped at a little roadside café where Baatar ordered us some noodles with tiny bits and pieces of what was once either a sheep or a vegetable.

fording a river
To swallow it down we ordered another Mongolian specialty: milk-tea. This tradition, imported from Tibet, is made from yak-milk with boiled water and very little tea, in fact, and has a slightly salty tast which takes some getting used to. It is not a bad taste per sé, but not something I'd voluntarily drink every day either - unlike Robbel who guzzled several bowls of the stuff over the next couple of days.

After a long day's drive we arrived at the small, pretty Ogii lake. We thought this would be our final destination, but soon found out that the Mongolian word for 'close' means at least two more hours driving. Two more hours adventurous driving I might add, as it involved crossing a knee-deep, fast flowing river with steep banks on either side. Piece of cake for the Uaz though, and we made it safely across, unlike some motor cyclists who had been crossing just before us of which one drowned his motorcycle while crossing, causing him having to take apart the entire engine to dry it.

ger camp near Ogii Nuur

The ger camp we stayed at was gorgeously situated in a meadow, and as an added bonus it was run by Baatar's family. We met with his wife and baby son, his brothers and parents who all greeted us as long lost friends, before continuing to mind their own business and leaving us be.
The idyllic setting of the ger camp made me fall in love with this country even more . While not as visually stunning as the Gobi, this area was certainly not without its charm. The more fertile ground and higher rainfall resulted in a greener landscape and much healthier looking lifestock. The herds we'd passed on the way today also seemed a lot larger than the ones we'd seen in the harsh Gobi.

 

vodkaphix says:
Have you found any Mcdonalds yet? lol. Real beef and all that, lol. Mind u the yak tea and mutton sounds fab tho!
Posted on: Apr 21, 2009
edsander says:
As a matter of fact, in Tibet they use yak butter instead of milk to make butter-tea. Pretty dreadful stuff. Ladakh also has butter-tea but they used butter of cows or dzo's (yak-cow cross breed) and is less rancid. Still, I'll choose a cup of chang over any butter-tea any day. ;-)
Posted on: Sep 06, 2008
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rounding up the horses
rounding up the horses
Ogii Nuur
Ogii Nuur
fording a river
fording a river
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
Mongolian country life
Mongolian country life
horse near Ogii Nuur
horse near Ogii Nuur
beautiful Mongolia
beautiful Mongolia
our ger near Ogii Nuur
our ger near Ogii Nuur
Yaks in central Mongolia
Yaks in central Mongolia
rounding up the horses
rounding up the horses
Mongolian country life
Mongolian country life
rounding up the horses
rounding up the horses
time for a drink
time for a drink
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
ger camp near Ogii Nuur
Ogiy Lake
photo by: Biedjee