After driving north from the White Lake for 12 hours we arrived at Lake Khuvsgul. The next morning we woke up to a magnificent crystal clear deep blue lake. Lake Khuvsgul (the blue pearl of Mongolia) is 136 km long, 36 km wide and holds 1-2% of the earth’s freshwater. We took out some bikes and headed to a peninsula where the ger camp dog followed us for 2 hours. Although he most likely thought he was herding us, we enjoyed the company (missing Koa so much already). The dog herded hundreds of goats, sheep, 1 yak and tried to get into a dog fight along the way.
After our ride, we sat, swam and read at a beach where we only had to share the coast with a few yaks. This pebble beach was the most amazing lake I have ever seen. We ended the night making vegetable fried dumplings as Nick has said, “I’d be okay without eating goat or sheep for another century.”
Our last few days were full of driving, hiking, and exploring craters. We spent some time wandering around the Amarbayasgalant Monastery which was mostly destroyed in the 1930 communist purge. The monastery complex was originally built between 1727-1736 and without the use of a single nail. I was surprise to see the Chinese influence in the design and architecture. Although 35 monks still reside here, unfortunately the complex overall felt like a ghost town, unmaintained, underfunded and abandoned.
We passed the family ger camp that was expecting us for the night in order to drive the dirt roads before the rain. Once we got to the paved road we drove up to a lonely ger where we were greeted by 5 guard dogs. We were invited to drink salted milk tea and eat cheese curds and eventually invented to stay the night. We slept on the floor of this ger and had a wonderful evening dancing (with their young daughter) and singing while the woman of the house played guitar. This was a wonderful genuine experience, however I was so thankful to have Nick with me as the culture in Mongolia is vastly different surrounding young women than in the West.
Thank you for following our travels and stay tuned for more updates from Western Mongolian. Again, if you have any feedback or suggestions, we’d love to hear them as we are still new at this blogging thing!