Proud owner of a horse in MongoliaSee - August 8, 2018
We had such an amazing experience last time we went to Mongolia we decided to return, but we quickly learned bigger is not always better. We went two years ago and were so moved we went back. This time we had a few wrenches in the works. The five camel lodge which won awards ten years ago turned out to be awful and the National Naadam is definitely a miss, but we did see an amazing desert scape, the sand dunes and we stayed in gers instead.
If you’re thinking about Mongolia- please go. But don’t be tricked by the fake videos of wrestling, horse racing and hoopla. The National Nadaam events are not set up for visitors to enjoy in terms of distance, comfort and being able to see anything unless you have a super long lens on your camera like I did. They really shouldn’t be selling tickets to people who don’t know what is coming.
When you start driving across Mongolia you fall in love. We’re now planning on doing a driving tour next from Ulaanbataar to Uzbekistan because the landscape is mind-bogglingly beautiful.
The horses (and the saddles) of Mongolia are beautiful.
The people are beautiful.
And Mongolian style is amazing.
The gers (also known as yurts by non Mongolians) and staying in them is magic. We actually helped to set one up. The family can usually do it in half an hour but with all our help it took two hours, but hey, we had fun.
It’s an amazing culture. they love to drink, drinking out of silver bowls. Once a bottle appears, the cap comes off and is thrown away.
We took a coconut bowl as a gift for our host and found out you never, ever give anyone an empty bowl. The bowl ended up being stacked with Lindt chocolate.
The last night it was pouring with rain and our hosts were passing around the silver bowl and we drank. Then suddenly the door opened and there was a horse, a gift for us. A beautiful horse.
We didn’t take the horse back to Bali, but we rode it the next day and made friends with it.
Our host family is actually the family of a student we sponsor to go to Green School. Bata was a boy in a yurt around 4 hours from the capital city. We met him two years ago and we said, “You should go to Green School.” He’s just completed his first year at Green School. He’s coming back for grade 10, 11, 12 and he’s declared that he wants to be the next leader of Mongolia. Our whole family sponsors Beta. A friend of ours also sponsors another lovely young woman from Bhutan to go to Green School and another friend is organizing sponsorship for a child from Pakistan, so we’re aiming to start a Green leader revolution around the world. Sponsor a child from your part of the world to come to Green School. It’s not a lot of money and it will change the world.
You’ve heard stories of the desert blooming. I’d never seen it before nor had our guides, but in the distance, I could see this amazing color with thousands of acres of purple, so we all headed overland to get to this field. Luckily you can really drive anywhere in Mongolia off road because it’s so flat. We came to this field of flowers full of sheep and goats and those two hours made the whole trip.
The coolest rock ever in Rockland, where the ancient mountains have been hammered for thousands of millennia by the weather, leaving only the essence of the mountains. I went to this rock three times and it was a long walk each time. Worth it.
Chris Gentry’s new ger. As he said- knock the wheels off and call it home!
Go to Mongolia, stay with the people, it’s an amazing country.