Great summer time in Terelj, Mongolia
One summer, I went to Terelj, Ulaanbaatar with my family. That was 2 days traveling. The Park is situated at 80 km north east of UlaanBaatar, and is a very popular area both with the locals on a weekend. It took us nearly two hours to drive from the capital as the roads were pretty bad. The park lies at 1600 metres high and offers great opportunities for hiking, horse-riding, rafting and rock climbing. The parks are over 1.2 million acres large. The landscape is looking a little bit like the Alps. It is a national park which starts to developed in the 1960's and officially was classified as a National Park in 1994. It is almost uninhabited by humans, only by a few nomads and farmers. Inside the park, there are ranges of protected animals such as birds, moose, and bears.
We have spent two nights in a ger camp; there was a building about 50 meters away with some toilets, but no electricity. It was the typical Mongolian ger tent. It will take about 30 minutes to put the tent up for a nomad. The GER tent is spacious and could accommodate a minimum of 4 persons per tent. Inside there is a wooden stowed to heat the tent up. In the morning a worker entered the tent while we were still sleeping to put more wood inside. It is great so as I woke up it was really warm. The temperature during the night was of -02C. During the day it was about 25C. Camps are not at the same place depending of the season, there are summer camps, and winter camps which are open mostly all year long.
We ordered the Mongolian traditional food, Boodog .That is one of my favorites. Boodog is made from goat or marmot meat. After a goat is slaughtered, the head and other parts are separated without cutting the skin. Then, in the skin all the meat that are cut into pieces and bones are put together with specially heated stones. Meanwhile, salt, water, and other spices are added. When everything is put in, the upper opening from which the head is separated is tied well and placed over an open fire. During this time, the outside of the skin or wool is burnt; therefore, it needs to be rubbed off. Within 2-2.5 hours, the meat is cooked both from the inside and outside. Food was provided it was mainly soups and delicious dishes
After the lunch, we went to see Melkhi Khad; it was about 20 minutes drive from my ger camp. One of the best place which is wonderful to see was The Turtle Rock, or called Melkhi Khad by the locals, is an interesting rock formation looking like a turtle. Not only Melkhi Khad but also there was a lot of interesting shape rocks such as mother father baby bear, two hump camel. The Turtle rock is set in a valley. My sister and I are fit and slim, we climbed behind the rock and access the head of the turtle, and there we found a very small hole where we squeeze through. When we managed that, once here there is a superb view point over the valley. My mom was shouting "be careful". Coming back in was more difficult as there is nowhere to put our feet, my father pulled us from the other side; my parents looked like a concerned. We took some funny pictures. That was my unforgettable time.
From the Turtle rock, I trek along two hours walk to a temple on the top of a hill then another hour to climb to the temple, along the way we saw wild flowers such as Edelweiss. They looked like white carpet. That was amazing. I'm proud that grows in Mongolia. Because people think they can only find them in Switzerland.
Once we arrived on the top of the temple, the view was superb, well worth the effort.
We have decided to rent up a horse for a few hours, prices are ranging from 2 to 5$ per hour depending the season and how busy they are. We took 1 hour for riding horse. We can ride pretty well, and we raced. My father at first, me at second, and my sister and my mother at third for the race. But the end my hip was hurt because long time didn't ride a horse. My sister was spoiled. My mother offered us home made yoghurt, biscuits and airag. Mongolian main product are diary product which produced by milk of cow, sheep. Airag is kind of alcoholic. I like airag very much even though all Mongolians like airag.
We were relieved to finally rest our legs from our long one exciting day. I didn't want to go back to home. I guess they didn't want to go back either. At that time I mentioned how peaceful Mongolian country life is. In my opinion everyone needs to travel with family. Getting out the city's nervous life, spend some time with their children, is more important. It's part of our life.