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

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Where I stayed
Camped near Teeliin Gol Bridge
What I did
Camels Camels Everywhere

Flag of Mongolia  , Uvs,
Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1st, 2011
Northern and Western Mongolia Tour Day 25 of 31
Khovd City to Teeliin Gol (bridge)
236 KM 9AM to 5:30PM

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?)

Remember the Australian and Italian tourist couples we met doing our same loop in the opposite direction? They had warned us of black biting flies at several lakes including Khar Us. Local people confirmed that Khar Us has a bug problem this time of year. But if the wind is blowing, the bugs have to stay low and won't bother you. The wind was not blowing. We suggested we view the lake from a distance. We had a long lunch overlooking Khar Us (Black Lake). The dry scenery was beautiful. Pancho wobbled out of the van to have lunch just as we were having our melon. He ate like a trooper. How sick was he, we asked each other?

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.

We drove near the site of the first hydroelectric plant in Mongolia. It was built by the Chinese for their poor neighbors. It is new and our engineering student wanted to take a look. 'Sure we', said. Dave gave her our camera so she could take some pictures. She talked to the guard at the front gate then ran the kilometer up a concrete road to the power plant. She was gone only a half hour or 45 minutes and returned very excited. The director there knows her professor and was happy to show her around. And she will be able to turn her visit into a little report for school. Uemaa was supposed to start her university classes today, but she took a medical leave so she could finish our tour. Dave suggested the title of Electrical Plant Visit paper could be. "How I Spent my Medical Leave when I Should Have Been in School"

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!
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jaspn on

i want a camel, haha but more than that i would love to catch up one your adventures, but never have the time, anyway, i will eventually get around to it, keep on rollin guys, big hug from colombia

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