Camels love to rub.
Khongoryn Els Travel Blog› entry 7 of 15 › view all entries
Though it has been a while but I couldn't sleep tonight. So,here is Khongoryn Els at last.
Although Mongolia is vast, it is sparely inhabited by human. So, tourists often run into each other in the middle of nowhere.
We met Ghislain on 28th, at Bagagazyn Uul. He and another Frenchman were on a jeep tour too. We all stayed with the Menesaihung family. For the short time we were with the family, we played spoon, soccer with the host family. The older daughter of the family only 10 but she is one heck of a caretaker and responsible kid. I gave her some Korean candy with beautiful wrapping. She was very appreciative. We parted the next day. When we arrived at Khongoryn, it was in the afternoon. Ghislain had been there 2 days and was leaving the next day.
The family we stayed with owns a camel herd and runs a budget tourist camp sorta. They used solar panel to get eletricity but only enough to charge my battery. They were near the butte of the sand dunes. The temperature was quite nice, and hot, a welcome break from the cold at Yolyn Am to me but a horrible time for our Finnish friends, who did not acclimate to high heat. We were quite restless after a long drive, so we decided to explore the area and go to the dune before dinner. The dune was huge but around it, there is nothing, so it seems so close may be HALF MILE.
That night, it was so hot, we decided to hang outside. I didn't bring any alcohol but our Finnish friends did. They bought Salmiakki vodka, which is a bit like liquorice. I also have some liquorice candy as well. Of course, we didn't leave out any local fare. Jeff secured us some fermented horsemilk as well, airag. The night was so beautiful. Stars were brightly lit from horizon to horizon.
Morning, Ghislain left while we have our breakfast. We didn't exchange info. I was hoping I would see him again in the capital since he would be there the same day I would be. (I wasn't sure if I would stay in the countryside for the next 10days after this group.) The capital is big but same time it is small compare to Los Angeles. Tourists frequently run to the same place for their needs.
After breakfast, the family was having a little problems getting the camels together. I didn't know what the deal was but I just saw the family kids ran around and bring camels back and forth to the ger. Behind our ger, there was a blackish stallion, not too tall, tied to a poll. This morning, I saw one of the boy ride another horse around that stallion in circle while singing to it. I didn't know what he was doing. But I love hearing him sing.
Finally, around 10, we hopped on the camels and head northward. This is my first time ridding camel. I had a chance to do it in Maroc, but the camel there looked sad and huge, so I didn't want to mount. These camels, they look like little mischieves.
We arrived at the highest dune around 11 or so. The sun finally evaporated little layers of clouds that covered the road by now. It was hot. This time, I took a big bottle of water. I was determined to climb to the top of the sandune. It looked within a short climb. I started to go up quite fast. But just when I thought I'm at the top, I was nowhere near. I tried about 3 times but gave up when I saw I was high up, exhausted, 2 more steep hills to climb and noone was in sight. Apparently people gave up the hike already. Seeing how one fall step, one slide, I could end up in the middle of sand pocket, I head down.
I have to say, camel is the most emotional animal. I saw the documentary about bactrian camel before I left for Mongolia, so I know a little bit about them. What I didn't expect is to hear them cry incessantly right outside the ger. One of the baby is missing its mom, so he has been wailing for the mom non stop!!!
This afternoon, our Finnish couple taught me something new. H. and A. are engaged. But what I didn't expect is for A. to ask if H. can pull her armpit hair out. He agreed to do it. But it was so funny to see him hold the twizzer with both hands and the twizzer wasn't steady.
At night, we chilled under the blanket of stars again. This time, I learned how to sing finnish children song and did some line dancing with my new friends.
Overall, Khongoryn Els was lovely even if our host family was not as interactive with us as the other family.