Date: Sunday, September 17, 2006
Place: Bulgan-Mörön road, Bulgan aimag, Mongolia
Just a quick entry to catch up. We’re underway! We have an awesome driver in Hugi and Buddy, a friendly guide. Shopping for the first few days in UB yesterday was a bit of an expedition in and of itself, and we realised later just how many things we forgot! Still, we have enough food, so it’s all good.
Onto more pressing matters. My air mattress had a hole, but Buddy was able to help me get another one in Erdenet. Erdenet is the second biggest city in Mongolia, but very different from UB — the Russian influence is much stronger. It’s certainly more run-down in some ways than UB, but the change in demographics is also noticeable, with fewer gers and even more ugly apartment blocks.
Last night, we camped on the Orkhon Gol (River), which was a lovely spot. Apart from the midges, that is, which were plague-like this morning.
This morning we went to Amarbayasgalant Khiid, a 280 year old monastery. The main temple’s roof contains no nails; every piece of wood is instead help together through perfect shaping and, one presumes, the will of Buddha. The vibe of Amarbayasgalant is spectacularly peaceful, to the extent that even the tour group that was there didn’t seem particularly annoying.
Which brings me here. We’re on a hill just off the road from Bulgan City to Mörön, our jumping off point for Khövsgöl Nuur. As I write, we’re sinking vodka and talking about cultures, girls and punctuality — in other words, the typical conversation of the slightly tipsy.
Anyway, I’ve just been photographed writing by Dirk, so I guess that’s about all. Khövsgöl Nuur in two days!