Mongolian part of trip had to be a bit actively spent too. I made an agreement with private school in Murun (sometimes as Meren in Moron) to teach english there. Town is located in province Khuvsgul on the north of the country. The province got it's name by a big lake, which a bit unfairly, because of proximity to even greater Baikal, don't reach popularity it deserves.
However, I was teaching at the school no more than three days, when the dean comes to me and says: "There is a family even farther to north that needs a teacher..."
I wasn't thinking much. Drive to vilage Tsaganuur was organized, and that's how I ended up in the family of Chuka, Yanzha and their kids Ganna and Saruul. The way to Tsagaannuur is a story of it's own. You can check what I mean in the article about mongolian roads.
Nuur in mongolian means lake. Tsagaannuur lies on the banks of the lake with the same name and is not much more than 30 years old. Not so long ago this area was more or less empty. The only inhabitants were Tsagan people who live with reindeers. But among other animals, reindeers also become a target of black hunters, especially from russia I heard. Mongolian authorities decided to protect nature with building some villages there. Now there is also a constant military presence, for entering the area you need a special permit and have to register on entry, exit... Some bureaucracy but all with a good cause. The nature there really is unique.
One day Chuka says: "Today we go to the countryside, want to join?"
"Of course I'm going but...I thought we're already at the contryside" :)
It turns out that what they consider for contryside, I would call in the middle of nowhere. We were driving off road for an hour and a half then we arrived to this cabin (photo below).
Soon I realized, it's not a regular day. It was the day of sterilizing young rams. And it is a special holiday here.
"This a happy day for rams." Janzha whispers into my ear...
"Hmm," I just nod my head without much confidence :)
And like the day wouldn't have enough of surprises already, the biggest was saved for the dinner. Yes, you can guess what was on the table :)
Mongolia truly is a country - national park. It can not dissapoint a nature lover like myself. Photo below is literaly taken half an hour of walking where all the sideroads end. Top north of the country is accessible only by horses or on foot.
And a couple more photos just for the feeling:
Only thing that spoils the idila are vodka bottles which you find just too often. If they were at least full... Well, where there is no bottles, you find something dead that was alive someday. Survival is still not obvious in Mongolia and is therefore the most important thing. To think about ecology, there is no time yet.