Orkhon Valley Travel Blog› entry 27 of 80 › view all entries
Today we have a change of scenery as we head into the central Mongolian hills. We don't have that far to travel today after the long journey yesterday but the roads are considerably rougher. After the first hour we are in a beautiful valley but we have a number of river crossings to negotiate and this slows us down, but none of these are too deep and the van manages to cross with ease.
In the second valley we come across a nomad family assembling their ger. We stop and start to lend a hand with some direction from Bayaraa who naturally seems to take the lead in anything practical. I'm not sure 4 tourists (actually 3 as Phil is trying to film the work in progress) really are of much use but we do help secure the felt to the outside of the ger and pull the canvas outer cover over the frame.
The final pass over to the Orkhon valley is particulary rough and the track still has plenty of snow which makes the descent particularly tricky. We are all relieved when we are safely down again in the main valley surrounded by green pasture and grazing animals. Here the hills are well wooded, a real contrast to the landscape of the Gobi. In fact I can not remember seeing many trees since we arrived in Mongolia.
At the Orkhon valley we reach a neat little town and follow the track and river upstream. A further hour brings us to the family gers where we will spend 2 nights. At the gers we find another GG group and the Dutch girls, Debbie and Jude, who we met in UB. After dinner we go to their ger to play the traditional Mongolian ankle bone game - a sort of cross between poker dice and marbles but the playing pieces are goat ankle bones. Debbie and Jude have been taught the game by a grandmother at one of their previous ger stays and are far too good for us.