They Did it Again!

Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 28, 2013

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Where I stayed
Bata Guesthouse

Flag of Mongolia  , Hövsgöl,
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Northern and Western Mongolia Tour: Day 11 of 34.
Drove south to Toom then southeast. Tsagaan Nuur Village to Moron: 256 km

8:00 – 5:45 (9 hrs 45 mins with lunch)

The family at our guest house did it again! We opened the door in the morning to find a fresh batch of the fantastic yak/goat yogurt and fresh blackberry jam on the stoop. We savored every last drop.

We want to recommend anyone who goes to Tsagaan Nuur to stay at this simple guesthouse because of the nice family that runs it. Unfortunately we don't have their phone number. Our guide said the guesthouse is named after the owner; Nuuriin Khishig. A big wooden blue sign with white Cyrillic letters hangs on the front of the guesthouse reads:
"HYYPbIH XИШИr" Guesthouse

The goal for this day was to get back to the provincial capital of Moron and resupply for the long journey west to Kazakh territory of the Olgii province and the Altai mountains.

We left according to plan at 8am. Blue skies. Fresh air. We drove south from Tsagaan Nuur village a few minutes and stopped at the ger and home of our guesthouse owner. We were happy to see them again and get a chance to thank them once more. The wife speaks a little English she picked up from the tourists who pass through. We raved about our wonderful tour to the Tsataan and she told us to come back in the winter when the Tsaatan move close enough to the lake to be visited by 'machine'. She pointed to their 4wd SUV. We were not sure if she meant car or another vehicle that can travel in deep snow. We gave her coloring books, color pencils, stickers for her kids and drove off over the wide open expansive steppe.

We stopped to help a couple at the side of the road who had what looked like a broken down motorcycle. The motorcycle was fine. They asked for a ride to Moron. There is very little transport between Moron and Tsagaan Nuur and the common way to travel is to hitchhike. We decided to leave them behind. After all, they had a motorcycle. Miles and hours later, we realized how selfish we were. It was an awfully long way to Moron on a motorcycle. It was too late to do the right thing. And we were amazed to see just how little vehicle traffic there was. We did not pass another van or car for hours. Just horses or the odd motorcycle.

We did it again in Toom for lunch. We made it back to the small town of Toom for a late lunch. It was more deserted and quieter than when we stopped here 4 days before. Uemaa  jumped out and poked her head in the door of our restaurant. No dice. She ran over to other places in town and bingo, the third place was serving lunch. It was in a round ger shaped building made out of wood. It took awhile for the soup to cook. It was a good break but we still had a long way to go to get to Moron. 

From Toom, Sereg left the main track and cross-countried south until he picked up another track. From here we were on a route new to us. Then we saw an SUV parked on the steppe. Then 45 minutes later, we passed a van coming in the opposite direction. Then 20 minutes later, another. Wow, we must be getting close to Moron. We were passing more cars than sheep herds at this point.

The road was still all dirt and dust. We all wore bandannas in an effort to keep the dust out.

We voted to stay at Bata Guesthouse this time. The women at Baigol Guesthouse were great but their washing machine was broken and they had not paid the cable bill so the internet was not available. Actually, we asked to stay at a newer large hotel in town but Uemaa said that one was not on Khongor's contract and was too expensive. We saw Bata had dorms as well as a guest ger and asked to skip the ger this time. Uemaa huffed and puffed but eventually asked. The dorm wasn't busy so we could stay there. Then we found out the 'shower' was not included in the Khongor contract price with Bata. We were astonished she wanted us to pay extra and told her to settle it with Bata and we would settle up with Khongor later. The Khongor package tour price states everything is included except photo fees and 'special' drinks. It says nothing about using the shower. We had a bone to pick with them if they didn't want to include showers at the places they choose for us to stay. 

Michelle joined Uemaa and Sereg on a shopping spree in the town center. Market was still going on in Moron. Stands with fresh berries, small selection of vegetables and fruit. Michelle purposely went along to have some input and "suggestions" for the shopping list; tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, eggs, mayo, jam, butter, coffee, tea and wonderful pickles. The bread was pretty decent and fresh but had to last about 4 days. Uemaa bought canned meat, rice, noodles, and ..... kimchee...

Dave stayed in the Bata cafe ger editing our massive collection pictures from the Reindeer people. The cafe was was cozy. But the guesthouse manager, Bata, was more interested in entertaining a couple of young German and Czech girls volunteering in Mongolia and pretty much ignored everyone else. Pancho talked with a pair of vacationing Korean girls in the other dorm room for a long time.

The gang returned from shopping and Uemaa threw together dinner quickly and went off to stay the night with her grandmother who lives in Moron.
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jason on

looking pretty amazing out there guys, just wanted to say something weird for me

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