Thursday, June 26, 2014

Camels, Horses, and Monks----Oh Boy!--6/10

This is one of the largest Monasteries in Mongolia and was partially destroyed in during communism and only recently rebuilt as part museum and part monastery.

While at the monastery, we again ran into the camp kids who wanted to pose with us for pictures.
Here are the monks blowing their conch shells for the monks to gather for morning chants.
Here are the monks chanting the morning prayers which I found out later I was not suppose to photo. It is a very small monastery compared to others I have visited.
We saw many beautiful buddhas and their protectors in the various buildings here.
This solitary monk is chanting using the Tibetan prayer books as well.
I took a last picture of the monastery as we were leaving
Up on the hillside we found a phallus rock that was positioned so that when you looked at where it was positioned, the valley resembled a woman's thighs. A truly fertile valley.
Now we were off to our next ger stay, lunch, and horse and camel rides.
We started with a horse ride and I was pleased to find out that the horse training that my daughter, Jessica, gave me when she was a teenager was enough for me to ride without having our guide use a lead on me like he did with Lucas and Meng. My horse was a real slow poke so I had to occasionally kick him on the sides to get him to trot to catch up with the others.
We then went to riding camels on the sand dunes that stretch for about 85 kms. Just after I got on the sitting camel, he decided to take a look at me and did that shock me.
Check out the size of our experienced camel drivers as Lucas, Meng and I prepare to hit the dunes.
Our camel drivers told us they were 13 years old, but we thought they looked more like 10. When we got to the top of the biggest sand dune, they set the camels down so we could get off and then they raced to the bottom of the sand dune to a small pond.
We found it much easier to ride the camels than the horses and I got a bonus since my camel's back hump gave me a back rub with each step forward.
We easily made it back to our ger for the night.
Here is a view from the sand dunes toward our ger camping area.
We made fast friends with the two guard dogs outside our ger after we had fed them our dinner leftovers. Unlike the last ger, this one was the real thing with the nomadic owners. They had a flock of sheep and goats, some cows and one of them gave birth to a calf while we were there. They have no electricity, water, or toilets---just an outhouse. They used a solar panel to power their lights and a small refrigerator. Our ger was a guest ger next to theirs with four beds, a fold out bed, two sofa chairs and a fire stove. Shortly after dinner we all crashed rather than drinking the vodka that Meng had bought. Camel and horse riding is hard work.


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