August 02 - August 18, 2011
M  O  N  G  O  L  I  A
Gobi , Altay Mountains & Hovds Gull Tour
Group Journal Day 14
Submitted By Richard Ross
Aug. 15, 2011

Monday Aug 15. Someone crept into the ger around 6 am to light the fire so it would not be so hard to get out of bed on a frosty morning. We were treated to a huge breakfast which included yak yoghurt, but the highlight of the meal was a freshly brewed cup of real coffee, Illy no less.

Khovsgol/Hosvgol province is an area of approx. 100,000 square km but only 123,000 people. There are 300 lakes, and Khovsgol Lake where we are is the 14th largest in the world and holds 1% of the world’s fresh water.

After breakfast we drove north along the lake to visit a shaman woman. She told us that she became a shaman when she was 13 and has been a shaman for 40 years. Her son became a shaman 2 years ago. While we were sitting in the ger listening to her explain about her powers and her connections with animals, someone was snoring under the table. Imagine how he would have felt if he woke up to see all of us there. Some members of the group then had private sessions with her, with mixed results. Two gers away, a group of people were enjoying more earthly delights in the form of some mid-morning vodka.





After another delicious mid-day meal of buuzu, we drove in one van in search of some reindeer. The shaman told us that hers had left a couple of days ago, but one of the drivers had a line on some reindeer across the lake. So off we went for another long and bumpy ride, stopping in Khatgal along the way to admire the bra and panties on the road.


There are very few reindeer herders left in Mongolia- apparently only 40 families or around 250 people, and 1,200 reindeer. A couple of hours later we came to a place where there was a large wooded fenced off area with a few red deer, and then a bit further on 4 reindeer. The three adults were truly magnificent. The baby had one horn which stood up straight and another which was bent at an odd angle. Our ger camp manager’s daughter later told us that the reindeer had probably bumped into a tree while it had its head down eating.

While we were away, we missed a 40 minute downpour at the ger camp, which resulted in puddles in the gers and wet fireplaces.

Everyone retired early in anticipation of a very early start in the morning.


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