Terelj is about 50km from Ulanbaator and it is weekend
Our first excursion with Vikinger takes us to Terelj, a resort which is at the entrance to Gorkhi Terelj national park. It is weekend and the Ulanbaators also head there.
Our small bus fights its way through the Saturday traffic jam in Ulan Baator, passes by the Russian orthodox church built in the traditional style with ognion shaped cupolas, passes by the catholic church which looks like a stone model of a ger, follows the railway up to the mining town Nalaikh (many Kasachs live and work here), turns north into the mountains and drops us in the Guru camp that is owned by Julchin tours, the local tour operator of Wikinger.
Walking and observing the locals from town
After lunch, our small group starts for a three hours walk, up and down through the hills. Our target is the Aryapala initiaton and meditation center.
Ursula sings this tune: “S’goot es Schnäggli s’Bärgli uff, s’Bärgli uff, äne wyder aabe , äne wyyder aabe, uff em Buuch, uff em Buuch.” (A small snail goes uphill, goes uphill, then again down, then again down, on its belly, on its belly).
We stroll through meadows abundant with edelweiss, gentiane, astera and we even find a yellow puppy flower – next to a tin. The rocks stimulate my phantasy, there are frogs, horses and faces around us. Matthias explains, this is granit that is breaking easily and has been formed by erosion (not by glaciers, as there have never been glaciers here… the area is too dry). Well, all guide books proudly announce the turtle rock… but the turtle rock does not resemble a turtle at all, by my opinion. Below is a rock that to my opinion looks more like it…
We share this beautiful landscape with Ulanbaators
We come across a large family that performs a wrestling contest. The winner, a strong young man of about twenty years is honored. Then he offers us (the unexpected spectators) milk and bortzig (fried unleaved bread). The five year old upspring is wrestling outside the circle and has a lot of fun.
We come across families sitting at the border of the lark tree forest. They are pick-nicking and singing joyfully.
And when we reach the ground of the meditation center, we share the hanging bridge and the many stairs leading up to the balcony with families that carry their young offspring, sweating and breathing. And we share the magnificent view across two mountain ridges with them.
The sun is setting and our bus picks us up.
Our camp has now more guests
In our Guru camp there are now more guests that share their weekend with us. They enjoy the camp, lightly dressed and in high heals. They seem to be happy to be together, as they chat in the night.
A second walk on Sunday
On Sunday we walk up to a hill across the valley. A great area to hike. The rocks stimulate my phantasy. I see animals and people in them. When I share my imagination with Matthias, he asks me to give him from the same stuff that I smoke. Well, some people keep their phantasy, even as they grow older and do not need to smoke for that. On the way, we meet grand’pa with his grandson on their Sunday ride solemnly circumambulating each ovoo they come across.