Terelj National Park - Ulaanbaatar
(Long Beach, California, USA)
Terelj National Park - Turtle Rock
I organized a 2-day tour from my guesthouse (Idre's Guesthouse), and took off for Terelj National Park with my guide, Tsarana, and my driver, Tumoor. We stopped at the humongous Turtle Rock formation, and walked over a seriously deteriorated wooden bridge, missing slats, rotted out, and suspended by cables to check out a Buddhist temple - new one, built in the 90's, and already falling apart. I met a French archaeologist/museum curator who was headed to the Gobi to get dinosaur bones for his museum in Nice. Bus loads of French here right now. I'm speaking French more than English, it seems. My attempts at Mongolian are apparently piss-poor, according to my guide and driver.
I swear, this language has no vowels!
We stopped for lunch as thunder clapped nearby, and Tsarana took out 4 boxes of food & a propane stove, and made a fruit salad of oranges and bananas...with oil and oregano, and not bad, and some pre-packaged sweet buns, then offered me some yogurt and chocolate covered cookies. Interesting lunch choices, but okay. Thought the meal was over, but then I realized rice was simmering...figured it was for dinner, but he made sushi rolls, basically, without anything in it. Apparently crunchy seaweed has become popular here, but ewwww, not raw fish. Then it started to rain, and then hail and we threw everything in the back of the car to wait it out before finishing our seaweed/rice rolls and then hitting the road for my stay with a Mongolian family.