Two days in Terelj

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
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Trip End Feb 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Ecotourism Ger Camp

Flag of Mongolia  , Central Aimak,
Sunday, September 26, 2010

.........................Stefan & Emily! 

A few days after our return to UB we got chatting to a lovely English couple, Emily and Stefan and within a couple of hours we'd decided to go to Terelj together and do the whole trip independently instead of going on one of the many tours on offer. We found a suggested ger camp run by a Dutch guy and decided to spend a few days there. Getting to Terelj was a breeze. It's an hour out of the city and the road there is tarmacked!!! Of course this does encourage Mongolian drivers to test out the speeding ability of their cars. Fortunately, the government decided to invest in educating drivers about the dangers of speeding. Not in your big-poster kind of way but by placing a burnt car that had actually crashed on the road killing it's driver and passengers, on a big stone podium on the side of the road. Hmmmm it definitely succeeded in scaring the beejesus out of me. 

The weather in Mongolia is most definitely female. It finds it quite hard to make up its mind and has the ability to change from blistering hot to freezing cold in minutes! Sure enough we experienced the full extent of this the minute we got to Terelj. The temperature dropped to minus degrees and soon enough a snow storm came our way! The four of us shuddered in our ger and decided that any exploring had to be postponed till tomorrow. Hmmm what to do when stuck in a ger? Well we did have wine and beer and vodka available....Sure enough we proceeded to finish off all of our alcohol stash in one afternoon and had a great time learning new card games like 'Sh!the@d'.

We woke up the next day half frozen to death. We'd used up all our wood and the fire had gone out. It seemed that Bert had not yet mastered the art of insulation as cold air was gushing into the ger making it feel like we were in a freezer. I went off in search of wood and soon found some logs which needed splitting, and a sleeping pig guarding them. I collected some small logs and being unsure of the pig headed back by the gate. It later transpired that I needn't have worried about the pig. He actually paid our ger a visit and munched on the boiled sweets we gave him.  As I passed a small cabin 12 little puppies came running and barking out ready to attack. They were the cutest things ever, stopping short when they saw me. Clearly I was a scary intruder and they hadn't quite expected this. 

The boys went off with their axe to split the wood and soon we had a mountain of logs ready to keep our ger warm. The day was much warmer and the weather was great for a spot of horse riding. I was looking forward to it as I'd missed our first horse riding session by the White lake. Although when Emily showed me her bruised leg where a horse had bitten her I did get slightly apprehensive. 

The ride was fantastic. We rode our horses along the lush Mongolian steppes surrounded by green plains, streams and trees. The setting was magical and beat all the perfect imagined settings I'd conjured up in my mind's eye before the trip, I felt like I was in 'Little house on the prairie'. I tried to put those horse riding lessons I'd had when I was 8 to good use and moved up and down in time with the horse - not sure whether they made me look any more graceful than just bumping up and down but I know they had zero effect on my horse. He only seemed to respond to our guide who came chasing him every time he stopped moving.  

I was so glad that Karen finally got on a Mongolian horse. We had 2 great guides with us. One of them was 80 going on 8! He had a lust for life even at that age. A man after my own heart. 

After the horse riding we all decided to walk to the nearest village to get some more booze supplies. It was a great walk, crossing over streams by walking on falling trees, loads of wildlife and beautiful scenery. As we neared the village we decided to have a quick beer in a fancy hotel. As we were about to walk in, a Mongolian bloke shouted out for us not to go in there and have a drink with him and his friends. So we duly obliged. We came to a bar that was closed but this being Mongolia that didn't stop the locals from hammering on the door. A few minutes later we were in the Mongolian equivalent of a working men's club! It was all very surreal. The 3 locals that joined us were all pissed and mad in their own individual ways. The oldest one was the loudest and most confident. He could not stop talking insisting it was his birthday! The other 2 were a couple and were very strange. The man started sniffing my beads on my wrist. Apparently he loved the smell of them? I could not smell anything myself but I gave him one as he liked them so much. Well he was over the moon with that. It was as if I gave him a case full of money. We drank with them for a good couple of hours. You will see the outcome on the video clip we post on Facebook. It was a very funny experience. 

We then had the problem of walking back to our Ger, slightly pissed and with crossings over streams. The boys had no mishaps. The girls on the other hand tried to take a short cut and got slightly we feet shall we say! ha ha. 

We had another fun night of playing cards and chatting. Stefan & Emily are also traveling for a year but a different route to us. If you are reading this you two, did you get to Tibet?

The next day we left the ger camp by Horse and cart with our 80 year old guide from yesterday. He was the same as the day before, full of life. At one point he wanted to take a photo of Karen & I whilst sitting on the cart. So he jumped off while we were still moving and tried many times to take the pic. Sadly his camera skills are not as polished as his horse riding so he never managed to get us in the shot! Especially as he insisted that the cart was moving before trying to capture us.

So that concludes our trip to Terelj and Mongolia for that matter! It has truly been an amazing 4 weeks. I think you can tell from the photos of the place. Come! before it changes.

Next stop: The big one. China. Soon to be the world's number 1 economy, superpower and all that. Bring it on!

Love to all of you,

Paul & Karen xxx       
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Comments

mom on

another interesting read keep them coming xxxxx

g-man on

how was the toiletpaper in the ger??

Anna on

Brilliant stuff. Take care dears!

paul_karen
paul_karen on

not as bad as the one you gave me (the coffee filter paper)

Tukkie on

Looking forward to the next exciting instalment... XXX

emilywhitchurch
emilywhitchurch on

Hi guys, what a brilliant blog and what nice comments. We loved meeting you too, and keep asking eachother why there aren't more Karens and Pauls!? Our Tibet tour was great, although completely teetotal again. What's wrong with everyone?! Anyway, sounding deeply alcoholic now, so I'll go. Looking forward to your next update and lots of love to you both xxx

Claire Murray on

Amazing. I wish I was with you xx

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