Ride a Mongolian horse through Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Try not to fall off, while gazing at crazy rock formations that surround a lush valley. Families live in gers (yurts), and tend to free roaming cows, horses, and tourists.
A family tends to Mare and I, providing a ger for sleep, as well as three meals…mutton with pasta, mutton with potatoes, and then mutton with rice. Ain’t nutton’ like mutton! Fresh, unpasteurized yogurt is served for dessert.
Climb turtle rock for a panoramic view of the valley.
We walk about every dirt road we can find. I use my one and only great talent of finding a beer in every country, and soon we drink warm cans of local brew.
Only 3 million people live in this vast country. Roughly half of them live in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Just yesterday, we were dodging them on the streets, where impossible traffic congestion shows no respect for pedestrians.
Roam around the great bronze statues of Sukhbaatar, and Chinggis Khann, at the massive Sukhbaatar Square.
We visit the Victims of Political Persecution Memorial Museum, which graphically displays the communist effort to eliminate Mongolia’s intellectuals and “revolutionaries.”
The spirit of Chinggis Khan, embedded in the Mongolian people, eventually overcomes all would be conquerors. Mongolia remains an independent country that cherishes its cultural history, which always welcome travelers with a smile, and what they need for survival.
We are on our way back to the city, bouncing on dirt roads and dodging cows.
At the Khongor Guest House, we arrange a 14-day Gobi Desert excursion, which will give Mare and I more than just a taste of this vast, fascinating country, not to mention a local Naadam Festival or two…stay tuned! Thank you Abundant Universe. Ron Mitchell