Mongolia - Living with Herdsmen

Ulaan Bataar to Khogno:

We left Ulaan Bataar early and made good time to Hustai National Park which is approximately 100 kms west of UB. The park was our first real taste of off road riding in Mongolia. We soon learned that "roads" are a loose term, and often it's better to simply make your own track to avoid sand traps and nasty corrogations. We explored about 30 kms into the park, saw a few animals, and rode to the top of the nearest peak for a view of the magnificent landscape.

We continued on heading south west towards our final destination for the day - Khogno Nature Reserve. The scenery became more magnificent the more we travelled. We stopped for a half hour break and Alex burned up the local hill for a better view ;

When we arrived at Khogno we explored the rock formations that fringe the highway then we continued north into the park (making our own track) ascending along a ridge line for a view of the region. On route we spotted a wolf staking some calfs and a number of eagles soaring off the formations. At the summit we had gained some real altitude and had an amazing view.

On the way down (still heading north into the park) we met a local herdsman and his wife. We could not communicate at all - but signalled "bed" and they gestured for us to join them at their ger. They welcomed us like family. We sampled their fermented milk with sugar and had a meal of sheep meat and noodles. The father went for a blast on Alex's bike - all we could see was a massive rooster tail as he roared off. We got a tour of the farm, and inspected all the animals (1017 horses, 400 sheep and numerous goats). We shared a few ports with the family, and then bunked down on rugs on the ger floor.

Overall a magic day, and exactly what we had hoped Mongolia would be like.

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