Riders On The Storm*

Orkhon Valley Travel Blog

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Phil crossing the river on horseback

The family when we are staying is only a short distance from the main local attraction, the Orkhon waterfall.  This is the highest waterfall in the country but is given a poor write-up by LP which claims that it is dry for 10 months of the year.  We have seen the river already and know that there is plenty of water at the moment but still have low expectations.

We will ride horses to the waterfall which presents Phil with a problem as he is not prepared to ride yet is told that to reach the waterfall we will need to cross the river and it will be too deep to cross on foot.  He still is determined to walk but reluctantly agrees to be carried across the river on a horse. 

Julie and James have a little trouble coaxing their ponies into action so are towed by the guide.

  When the guide breaks the horses into a trot he is met with shouts of protest from James and Julie until he slips back to a walk.  It is only 5km to the waterfall and Phil is able to keep up with us most of the way.  At the river we appreciate the diffculty Moogi was trying to explain.  The river is a good 50m wide and flowing very swiftly.  The guide leads his horse into the river with Julie an James in tow and I follow a little apprehensively.  At the deepest section the river is several feet deep and my boots are tested but we are safely across.  At the far side we dismount while the guide goes back to collect Phil and we enjoy the sight of him being led nervously across.
The Orkhon valley

We leave the guide with the horses and walk the last 5 minutes to the waterfall and are impressed.  There is certainly no shortage of water at the moment and the gorge below the waterfall is also impressive.  It actually reminds be a little of High Force (in Durham) that I used to visit regularly in my youth.  We find a way down into the gorge and are able to walk up to the base of the waterfall for moe photos and for Phil to take some video. 

Back at the river we find the horses tethered but our guide is gone .  Today is light rain - the first bad day we have had so far - and we expect he has headed off somewhere more sheltered to wait for us; sure enough after 10 minutes he reappears from round a bend in the river looking happy as ever.  The guide, like most Mongolians likes singing.  On the way back he sings and then looks to us to join in with some songs that we we know.  I'm pretty sure our rather poor rendition of Bohemian Rhaposody didn't impress him.

After lunch the rain seems to have eased and instead of another horse ride Phil and I take a short hike up the valley.  We are careful to avoid any ger camps for fear of dogs but do walk a few kms up the valley and to the top of a small hill from where we can look up and down the main valley.   The river rises in the mountains south of here and in an areas called the Eight Lakes.  We had considered going into this area but decided against it would be cold this early in in the year.  Looking up to the Eight Lakes from here this looks like a good call.

Phil has caught on to the themes for my daily blog entries and is lobbying hard for his suggestions to be used.  I veto "Rhinestone Cowboy" but "Riders on the Storm" is a good title for today.  * after the title indicates credit to Dr P D Jones for the suggestion.   

skippyed says:
We'll have to go horse riding when you get back :)
Posted on: Jun 18, 2010
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Phil crossing the river on horseba…
Phil crossing the river on horseb…
The Orkhon valley
The Orkhon valley
Orkhon Valley
photo by: joseph98