Sunday, May 17, 2020

Goodbye Mongolia!

Turtle Rock™️

Sadly our time in Mongolia was coming to an end as our visa was running out.

Before heading north to Russia we did a short trip to the east of UB.
In the mountainous forest we did a quick stop at the turtle rock (quite the tourist trap) and then headed further into the wilderness.

We found a lovely little clearing with one of the many Ovoo scattered through the land.
It is customary to circle it three times and add a rock, branch or other offering. If the ground allowed it we obviously did this in the car πŸ˜ˆ
As an alternative honk three times if you're in a hurry πŸ˜‚
After this it was really time to go and we slowly drove to Russia, sad to leave πŸ˜’

Shepherds showing up for a cup of coffee
This country is just an overlander dream. Even the modern Mongolians living in the cities pack their car and drive out to the country side for the weekend. It is quite common to see a car parked in the middle of nowhere with a family having a picnic. So nobody cares about those westerners driving around in their "backyard" πŸ˜† Which doesn't mean they are ignorant of visitors. Almost everywhere we setup camp somebody showed up for a "chat" even if most of the conversations were in hand signals.
Showing off our solar panel

But especially the rural folk were quite interested in our setup, curious to see the inside of our tent and car. As many of them sport a solar panel at their yurt they wanted to see what we use it for and always approved of our fridge πŸ˜

On their way from China to the UK

Not everybody visiting Mongolia does it in a beefy 4x4. Especially in and around UB we encountered many travel vans from Europe. We can't advise to travel the country this way tough. There are just too many wonderful places you can't reach in a van. Especially an overloaded camper van. And only crossing the country on the newly built motorways isn't quite the same as going cross country...  

Also many might think of green rolling hills when they picture Mongolia. Which is certainly true for some parts, but this country has so much more to offer. Probably one of the most diverse with green pastures, sandy dunes, rocky mountains, forests, steppe and more!

Here just a tiny part of the many pictures we took:

Short stretch between the dunes
Bringing fresh yogurt

Cashmere goats are everywhere

Prius in offroad mode, spoiler on the roof πŸ˜‚
Cooking dinner

Spring in the middle of the desert
Common sight

Here we had to help some locals which got stuck with their 4x4 mini vans in the sand πŸ™ˆπŸ€£
Photo shoot by night
A car spotters dream πŸ˜Ž

Typical Mongolian sky
Flower power!
One of many secluded spots for the night
Follow the tracks

Melanie excited about camels 😍 πŸ«
Our epic spot out on the peninsula of lake Khyargas 

So this was it, next stop Russia!