Monday, September 29, 2008

Mongolia | Töv Aimag | Horse and Camel Trips

Skipped out to Töv Aimag to meet up with Zevgee and his family. The general idea was to make an eight-day horse trip east into Khentii Aimag with stops at Khökh Nuur and Baltan Bereeven Khiid. This would be the 10th horse or camel trip I have done with Zevgee.

Let’s see: there was my first trip with Zevgee and his son Bayaraa in 1997, described in my Travels in Northern Mongolia. Then a 10-day 160-mile horse trip from Zevgee’s ger on Terelj Gol to the Minj River in the Khentii Mountains, just south of the Siberian border, retracing the route used by Temüjin, Chingis Khan, when he went to Siberia to capture his wife Börte back from the Merkits.

On the way back from the Minj River we crossed Ongoljiin Davaa to the beginning of Ongoljiin Gol. This is the ultimate source of the 2,728 mile-long Ongoljiin-Onon-Shilka-Amur River System, according the National Geographic Altas of the World the 9th longest river system in the world.

A year or two later Zegvee, his son Bayara, and I traveled to Bayankhongor Aimag, where Zevgee was born and where his brothers still live, and did a 124-mile camel trip from near the süm center of Shinejinst to the Sacred Mountain of Segs Tsagaan Bogd Uul near the Chinese border.

That was followed by a 109 mile horse trip Circumnavigating Burkhan Khaldun Uul, the mountain worshipped by Chingis Khan, with a stop at the Onon Hot Springs.

Then a 118 mile horse trip to Yestiin Rashaan the Hotsprings studied by Zanabazar, First Bogd Gegeen of Mongolia, with a stop at the ruins of Saridgiin Khiid, the monastery constructed by Zanabazar.

A year later we returned to Bayankhongor Aimag for a 272 mile camel trip following the Route of the 13th Dalai Lama from Shar Khuls Oasis to Amarbuyant Monastery.

Then back to Töv Aimag for a 168 mile horse trip to Asralt Khairkhan, the highest peak in the Khentii Range and after that yet another trip (my third) to the Summit of Burkhan Khaldun, the mountain worshipped by Chingis.

And just last year we did a Trip to Khargiin Khar Nuur with Gunj, the International Adventuress. I also visited Zevgee and Tümen Olzii for Tsagaan Sar Last Year in Baga Nuur.