Two Swiss in Mongolia – the boat ride on the Khövsgöl lake

Joining the group from Stuttgart for a boat ride
During breakfast, Aika organizes that we can join the boat tour with the group from Stuttgart, three men and two children. One of them is a Mongolian living in Germany. He is showing his country to his daughter and to some friends. Costs: 90’000 Törgöt or about 45 Dollars each for four hours.
The wish rock – do I have a wish?
The manager of the camp drives the boat to the wish rock
image.
High above the lake there is an ovoo.
image
We climb the small path to the ridge, find a great view of this large lake disappearing in the horizon.
image
We circle the ovoo three times – clockwise.
image
What about my wish on this wish rock? I have Ernst in my heart and I am happy to have lived with him. I do not know what else to wish, except that I want to enjoy looking back, while sharing my live with friends – give and take. And, Ernst, forgive me for having let your son join you too early.
The manager points out some wild garlic (лук) to me. It is a green stem with the fluffy violett flower reminding me of the chive in my garden.
image
Berries and birds
Next stop is a stony shore with some blue berries. They are blackcurrant (черная смородина). The children love to eat from the bushes in the wild.
image
Next stop is at the birds’ rock. Our boat rund so fast that most seagulls and cormorans leave the island and wait outside on the water.
image
We stroll along the island, plough our way through swarms of small flies, hold our breath, when the smell around us gets to strong (on Galapagos they make dung out of this), sadly look at the dead birds lying around, as young seagulls risk being eaten by adults.
Fishing for the children
Our boat takes us back to a bay, where the children unpack angling rods for a short fishing session. We climb up the cliff and find a beautiful forest clearing with a burbling creek and a carpet of mushrooms, all relatives of the boletus.
image
image
image
After that we return to our Döltur camp for lunch and for another stroll along the lake, enjoying the cristal clear water.
Dinner – simmered ham with many delicacies
At 6:30 the camp restaurant is still closed; dinner is not ready. This camp has a very gifted lady cook, and today she is preparig a specialty: Ham that isnsimmering in an oven behind the kitchen (хорхог).
image
She serves it with rice, steamed bread (мантуу), mushrooms, cabbage in the form of salad and various vegetables, rice, potato and pickled cucumber. We take the bones into our hands and gnaw on them like real Mongolians. It is a delicious meal. As we come down to our ger, the oven has been heated so well that we feel like in a sauna.
image

Two Swiss in Mongolia – first walk near the Khövsgöl Lake

Sunrise behind the hill

When I wake up, Ursula comes back from a sunrise walk. There is a chilly wind and blue sky. Promising. And yes, it will be around 20 degrees today, a warm summer day.

image

Walking to the Ashishai Sant hill

Armed with a promising box lunch, we walk uphill – directly behind our camp.  Our driver, Pudje, has taken over the lead, as he is from the area. Lark tree forest and soft ground – this is the taiga.  Pudje  scratches off the resin of the lark tree and chews it lie a chewing gum. I try it and it has a bitter taste.

image

We have to be careful not to step on the mushrooms, there are puffballs, russola, chanterelles, relatives of the bolet and many more. Here we could just collect them. Pudje kneels down in front of a white mushroom in the meadow, looks at the bottom of the stem and frowns. Yes, he is right, also the lamellas are white. It is a death cap.

image

Though late in summer, there are many flowers, like carnation or gentiane

image

Worshiping the ovoo on the top

On the top of the hill, there are two piles of branches decorated with colorful ribbons. Pudje adds a few branches. As this is how Mongolians show their respect for nature in Mongolia, we do the same. Then we walk around the ovoo – clockwise- and I notice that Pudje takes his cap off.

image

image

We enjoy the view. Our lunch box is delicious:  Soup, dumplings (bansh) with beef and a cabbage-carrot salad. Then we continue to a pretty swamp field. We share it with a herd of Yak.

image

Back in our ger

Around 3 PM we are back in our ger and enjoy our siesta to recover from our short night in Ulanbaator.

image