Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pop-up Dusty Tour to Monastery--6/9

It turns out that traffic is so bad in Ulaanbaatar (UB) that our van could not drive into the city because of it license number ending was not allowed on the 9th. Instead we started our trip in a beat up old "taxi" out to a suburban market where our van was parked.

Today's 236 km ride out to the monastery was quite an adventure of off road driving because the paved road was full of chuck holes. For hours on end we held on the the overhead strap to keep from hitting our heads on the ceiling or falling out of our seats. It was a good thing that just three of us were in the back two seats.
 
 

Along the way we stopped at these type of stone chortens as well as view the horse herds drinking at the rivers crossing the road.

 
Here are some of the overland roads the drivers have created beside the "paved" road that is in the upper part of the picture below.
It seems like all of the lunch stops have a wolf hide hanging on the wall along with the Mongolian Flag.
I had a mutton noodle soup bowl for lunch at this restaurant.
We would also run into this camp group again at the monastery tomorrow.
After visiting the Monastery Museum, we finally got to our ger where we would have dinner and spend the night. It was more like a KOA Ger campground rather than a nomadic Ger that we had expected. We had showers, western toilets and electricity. The good news is that it was just a few yards away from the Monastery which we would visit tomorrow.
A beer, shower and rest after a verrry verry long day of off road driving.
Lucas, the Swiss, who is teaching English in Mongolia, celebrated surviving the bumpy, dusty ride by treating us to vodka after our meal and hot showers. We found it easy to sleep after that.

Lucas is on the right, Meng, the Australian dentist is in the middle and our guide, Bic is on the left in front of the monastery.

 

 

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