I found a Happy Place.
Put me in the back of any bumpy vehicle, I’ll be pleased; be it pick up, snowmobile, quad trailer or boat. Saturday before last my happy place was a a Series 77 Land Rover crammed with 8 people, 2 poodles, and a picnic lunch.
We were going for a day of exploring the country –
Alright, so maybe the term ‘exploring’ is used lightly here…We were really just being tourists and seeing all the sights of interest that were located within an hour or so of UB…
Even so, it was fun.
We began with the 131-foot tall statue of Chingiis Khan (Gengis Khan, for those not familiar with Mongolian pronunciation) the most famous Mongolian of all.
Adele and I were probably much more impressed with breathing clean air and walking in snow a foot deep than the shiny metal guy, but still, he was kind of impressive too.
Next stop was out to Trelj – a national park with a big ol’ 5-Star Hotel by the river with pony rides and such. We just poked our heads in the hotel, smiled at the people there, and played by the river.
Frozen water is a lot of fun.
back at the landrover I ate the third best aelim (apple) I have ever eaten,
plus some hot drinks and about 1500 cookies.
Turtle Rock is a unique rock formation out in the middle of nowhere (er, outer Mongolia).
We climbed up the back and squeezed through some cracks and holes to pop out kind of on his shoulder.
Life Lesson #95: Always bring proper footwear on Adventures!
The boots I was wearing have negative-traction on flat pavement in the city…so climbing slick ice-covered, slanting rock was maybe borderline stupidity
it was alright in the end!
90% of my decent was spent scootching on my bottom so I guarantee next time my hikers are coming along.
That there picture right above may look like a little nook in the rock, but it’s actually a literal hole-in-the-wall that we each had to squirm through to come out onto the turtle’s shoulder-shelf.
It made me thankful that:
1. I am small (jijick)
2. We built snow tunnels as kids.
Seriously, I think it prepared me for tight places in a poofy winter jacket.
By this time you might think we were exhaused.
Well, maybe we were…but when you’re in the neighbourhood of a Tibetan Buddhust Monastery perched on the edge of a mountain it’s only polite to drop in, right?
So we did:
Ask me about this one day. It was an interesting place.
We didn’t stay long, for we had a timeline to follow.
On the way home however, we managed one more brief roadside visit!
Before Saturday, I would have told you I’ve never been inside a cave.
Well, I can’t say “I’ve never” anymore!
Rumour has it that in the Communist Era this is where several Buddhist monks hid for some years.
Rumour also has it that it was below -40 Degrees Celsius in there on that particular day.
Since I am neither Mongolian historian nor trustworthy estimator,
you’ll have to decide for yourself if these things are true.
All in all, it was an entirely enjoyable day, filled with some fun and cool (haha) places, but also with great friends, laughter, and discovery. And that’s really what makes the best memories, methinks.
(see you later)