Day 19: Ulaanbaatar - Ogii Nuur
Ogiy Lake Travel Blog› entry 21 of 34 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.