CAMELS HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE
Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
195Trip End Feb 28, 2013
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Where I stayed
Camped near Teeliin Gol Bridge
What I did
Camels Camels Everywhere
Northern and Western Mongolia Tour Day 25 of 31
Khovd City to Teeliin Gol (bridge)
236 KM 9AM to 5:30PM
MORNING SEARCH FOR THE PHARMACY
Michelle was bitten by bugs on a small area of her ankle, a week prior at Bayan Lake, and it became infected. With the antibiotics and keeping the wound covered, the sore was gradually healing. But our supply of oversized band-aids was running low. We asked Uemaa to help us find new supply, or at least sterile gauze so we could make our own. We discovered there are not that many pharmacies in Khovd. We stopped at a few that were not open early in the morning (8:30). We finally found one and got the gauze that we needed. Our deadly sick companion still did not want to see a doctor and said he did not need anything from the pharmacy either. Pancho lay on a back seat of the van with his bandanna over his eyes. Now he was using the bandanna to avoid eye contact. How sick was he, we asked each other?
Along the way, we saw moms bringing their kids to the first day of the new school year. Some of the schools have uniforms but most do not. White bows and ribbons in the girl's hair was one noticeable fashion statement. In front of the schools, the students were assembled being subjected to boring speeches. We finally rolled due east out of Khovd at 9:00. Over the first pass, we spotted an ovoo at the top and huge lake in the distance below. We drove 3/4 of the way around Khar Us Nuur (the lake). We navigated over distant mountain saddles expecting to see wide vistas. More often than not, we would see another slim road inclining to the horizon. Dry steppe is what greeted us.
We came to a spot where watermelons were sold on the side of the road. Stop! Stop!, we said. Uemma was going to buy one or two for us. We went to the field and picked some melons off the vine. The family tending the field had their ger right there. In the end we bought 4 melons. These will make a refreshing dessert in the desert. (Did we get desert in the dessert?)
We came upon a small village along another lake; Dörgön. Near there, there was an abandon Monastery. Michelle and Dave got out and explored around the 4 building complex that was enclosed by a wire fence. We were told it was okay to look as long as we stayed outside the fence. The faded colors and unique architecture looked nice against the azure blue sky. Then a monk with a fancy cloak and hat pulled up in a car. By the time we got close enough, for a picture with our compact camera, he had ducked inside a ger. Maybe we should have knocked and asked him to come out and pose. But we didn’t.
Sereg acted upset that Uemaa took so long visiting the plant. What! Did he have a hot date waiting? As we drove on, we learned that we had driven past our planned destination on Khar Nuur (as opposed to Khar Us Nuur) by about 40km. Perhaps that is what put a bug up Sereg’s butt.
We were driving on then spotted a large herd of 50 or more camels making their way to the water hole on the river. We suggested we camp there and visit the camels. Michelle ran up to take a video and one of the big boys got agitated. Was he protecting his harem? And what would he do? Charge? Spit? Bite? We kept our distance. It was exciting to see so many camels in one place at the same time. And we didn’t see a herder around. As we stood amongst the herd, we quickly learned what everyone complains about. Camels stink! We went back to our camp and stayed in the tent to avoid being bitten by the insects. Uemaa served a goulash of rice with prepackaged kimchee stirred in. Sorry Uemaa, but it stunk worse than the camels!