I had grand plans. We were spending three or four weeks travelling along the Silk Road this summer. We were in two minds about taking the kids already and the more I researched, the more touristy the Silk Road appeared. I started on an alternate itinerary, it got very exiting but not one we could bring along three kids to. So we changed plans back to something we had talked about for years… Let’s go to Mongolia!
We had always wanted to go, and we hate going where other people go. We went to the far west, bordering with China, Kazakhstan and Russia. Tavan Bogd, Ulgi Aimag. The domestic flight from UB had other trekkkers and outdoorsy looking types in it together with the old granma carried onto the plane on the co-pilot’s back as well as a couple of riding injured mongols coming home from hospital with smashed-up faces, broken bones and dranage sticking out from under their unbuttoned shirts. I needn’t have worried, we didn’t see another soul for weeks, let alone another tourist. We got what we hoped to have – a wild outdoors adventure without technology, modernities, airplanes, powerlines – or people. In fact, it took four days before we saw another human being; a sheep hearding nomad on his horse. A wave and a nod, that was that.
So to take it from the beginning; I went to a talk here in Hong Kong and so came across Adrian and Whistling Arrow. He promised me that he could arrange a holiday for us where we would not see another tourist for weeks. Weeks! (He had us at that)! We left Hong Kong and arrived in Ulan Bator via Beijing. After a walk around Shukbataar square we said goodbye to modern civilisation and borded a domestic three hout flight west. After driving further southwest for five hours, we arrived at Shergaty lake where we were met by our camel and horse men. We had four camels and three horses to carry our packs, tent, provision and children, should they get to exhausted.
More coming soon…