On Saturday, I went hiking with Sunaree, Jay, Zach and Amy, over the mountains to Zuunmod. Zach and Amy are a Peace Corps couple who live in Zuunmod and Jay is an ex Peace Corps who’s now back helping to set up a law firm here. All great people.
Anyway, we left nice and early, anticipating a long hike. It started well, heading down to Zaisun and climbing over Bogd Khan Uul. At the clearing at the top of Bogd Khan, we almost headed the wrong way, but asked 2 guys picknicking in their underwear (we don’t judge), who led us in the right direction.
It was sometime after that when we lost our way. It’s not like there was any danger of us not getting there; we knew where we were headed, we just didn’t end up going the most direct route. When we realised we’d gone too far, we scooted under a (very rare) fence and tried to get back on track.
First, we got told off by a guy who wanted us to register somewhere, who thought we might have something to do with forest fires (some of the range burned last weekend). Then, closer to our destination, another guy came up and told us the way to get out. He was polite and friendly, but obviously knew that we weren’t supposed to be there. All this time, we didn’t know why the place was fenced off. It turns out that we were in a special reserve for elk/red deer, of which we saw none.
So, once we got out of there, we were on the actual (vehicular) road to Zuunmod; not exactly where we wanted to be, but good enough. We arrived tired and sore and headed straight to the only Korean restaurant in town to recharge, then off to Zach and Amy’s ger for the night.
The bus back in the morning took under an hour and unlike most microbus’ here, full, but not overcrowded. The 45 min drive felt like nothing compared to the 8 hours we spent hiking there, but all the fun and stories come from the hike and what does the drive have, other than speed?
No pics yet, because I didn’t take my camera, but I get one or 2 from Sunaree. The pic below is from a (very poor) HDR test and is one of the corridors at Mongol National TV. Read up on it at the wiki link above if you’ve never heard of it. It’s the kind of concept I find interesting, although you really need the right subject, which a fluorescent-lit Soviet-era corridor sadly is not.