I SAW A BLUE WOLF - JUNE 2013


I saw a blue wolf at Shireet lake in†

Mongolia

by Mr Tamaaki Wakata from Japan

IMG 0532by

June 23, 2013

I’ve arrived at Ulaanbaatar via Seoul, Beijing. Mongolia was third time experience for this trip. I’ve checked in LG guesthouse as same as usual. I headed to Noh Min department store immediately even unpacking. It's to buy Mongolia Sim of my smart phone. I bought a Sim card at the shop of MOBICOM in the department store, then I was told that you are not allowed here internet connection procedure, then go to Teddy center nearby.


If you go to the fourth floor Teddy center immediately, there is a service shop of MOBICOM. Now, you can do the attached procedure of data communications Sim phone that was originally bought in Nomin. I asked them to do various setting for the additional charge. Internet connection and telephone in Mongolia has become possible. I called free telephone to home and friends of 050 + IP phones, but whether there is room in the line unlike Beijing, the air is clear! ? Feeling like you're talking next to, no problem.


Cheke Tours is the near teddy center here. Cheke is female manager and looks like 40s. . We were going to talk the tour from tomorrow.


Byanba, 22-year-old, student at University English and American language major. Good young man. He is a guide for this tour. By the way, there is only given name because there is no surname in Mongolia.

Basic rate of 150cc 2 bikes made in China and bike guide for 8 days € 400 at 50 Euros per day. Total € 464 by adding a rental tent, water purifier, sleeping bag, and cooking stove. Contracts leave the passport and $ 200 deposit. Accommodations, charges, meals, gasoline along the tour are condition that each time I pay for two servings.

I exchanged the currency in Mongolia 867000Tg for • 60,000 to fund the trip.

  

June 24

While "Ho el myan gar Bol ho?" talking to the taxi driver by Mongolian language that was studied rapidly, I’ve arrived in check Tours at 7:00 a.m. of promise.


Mongolia here, un-authorized taxi is provided normally. So-called this type of taxi stops as soon as We issue the stop sign by the roadside.

I knew market price of this taxi is 800 Tg per 1km, but I know up to 2km to Cheke. I am a beginner of this taxi in Mongolia, so I had pre-negotiated once using the phrase "Is it ok for 2000 Tg ?" before getting in the taxi.

1 USD equals 1445 Tg, but it is correct to estimate 1000Tg is 100 yen to life feeling rate basis.

We pray safety touring in Mongolia

Finished the contract and payment procedures, We headed to the ancient capital Kharkhorinvillage (Karakorum) through the large traffic congestion of Ulaanbaatar city by the lead of Byanba. I was riding on the same road for three years ago as well, asphalt road is cut off in the middle of this time, We had to rush to the dirt path of the soil surrounding desert. It was raining when half in the road, sandstorms also came blowing. We arrived in Kharkhorin finally with soaking wet while struggling with muddy road in the rain. Road condition is worse than three years ago. I heard that it is always under construction because thickness of the asphalt pavement is thin in Mongolia, hole opens in the asphalt, road because break immediately. Soil zone around the road changed to the road instantly. It's like a distance from Tokyo to Kyoto as if in Japan, but there is almost no traffic because of Mongolia sparse population density of here.


Regarding the road conditions in Mongolia, asphalt paved road is only national highway connecting to the major towns of the region and around the Ulaanbaatar city just from about 7 or 8 roads extending radially from the Ulaanbaatar. In other words, rutted paths made naturally in the mountains and hills and grassland are everything. Grassland that looks like smooth, but there are lots of hills, valleys, and rivers, and desert soil which are all undulated. And, all road conditions is the rutted path except national highway. There are various road conditions that are floating sand, soil rocks, pebbles, rocks and grass and stone, gravel, puddle clay, roots of a tree that was undulating, soil clay in 10 cm depth, rivers and wetlands, sharp rocks tire is likely to punk and some parts of paths are rutted which is inclined.


It was very cold because of soaking wet in heavy rain.

We stayed in the tourist camp which was just in front of Erdene Zuu monastery, Tibetan Buddhist temple in the world heritage of Mongolia. In the grassland of Kharkhorin, Erdene Zuu monastery is a temple complex located in the premises of 400m square surrounded by white pagoda of 108 pieces.

In olden times, this temple had been decorated magnificent, what is reminiscent at the time without too much now, it was in Tibetan and Buddhist architecture. There was a big pot Genghis Khan has used to cook in this temple.

In one of the centers of the East-West trade, Karakorum was a cosmopolitan city gather ethnic and culture from around the world. I gaze lightly here because it is second time.

Hanging out while dry our clothes in the stove into the gel. Leather jacket was very heavy with breathed plenty of heavy rain. There is no shower of course. It is a simple tent hotel style called gel house of nomads for tourist camp. Stir-fried noodles with stir-fried lamb chop and noodles is the dinner. It is not intended banquet cuisine style such as Japan, Mongolia meals is something very simple in the basic single item. I drink whiskey to warm that I bought at the airport duty-free shop. It is bright even in 9 o'clock at night probably because high latitude. Asphalt road 250km of hole full of miserable, off-road driving 130km, a total of 380km.



  

Tourist camp in Kharkhorin


June 25

The weather also seems to have recovered today, so we reviewed the route of today while eating breakfast and decided to head to the Toppun temple along the Orkhon river valley. We were refueling octane number 92 at the gas station. It is high price the same as Japan and 1600Tg per 1 liter. It's unusually expensive when viewed from • 40,000 average monthly income of Mongolia.


Motorcycle is a 150cc bike named Mustang 5 manufactured by Shineray motorcycle company in China Chongqing . Gasoline tank capacity 12 liter, fuel consumption seems to go 35km per 1 liter. The engine with the tenacity looks like a copy of Honda bikes, fuel economy is extremely good. This bike is sweeping the whole Mongolia during nomadic always in recent years. They are using this bike instead of the horse and they are chasing the herd of grazing by this bike.


It seems that repair parts are also able to get from nomads anywhere if in fault. So the best bike to ride in the meadow is this Mustang. I heard it costs about • 120,000 for new bike. Cheke Tours is using this Mustang for the first time on a motorcycle tour of Mongolia as a Mustang tour pioneer,. Cheke Tours own 10 bikes of Mustang 5.


Proceed to Orkhon river straight out of harkhorin village. It is not a decent road course, there is gravel road, grass, floating sand, and rivers. We go along the rutted path of grass, stone and tree roots which are mingled. The road is smooth flat comparatively so along the valley. Horse and cattle and sheep have been grazing here and there. It is great view around here.

The Orkhon valley where is central part of Mongolia, located southwest of the capital Ulan Bator, is in the fertile land rich grasslands spread from the old days.


Nomadic countries of North Asia were based in here always from olden times. Numerous archaeological sites up to the age of the Mongol Empire is left over from the Stone Age around here.


There are historic sites such as Erdene Zuu temple of Tibetan Buddhism, which was built in the 16th century, the ruins of the capital Karakorum where was the Mongol Empire built by Genghis Khan first.

Therefore this area is registered as a World Heritage Site.


After going along the valley, going up rapidly advanced into the mountain road gradually. Such as undulating to mixed grass, stone and tree roots becomes the slope gradually, the road becomes rutted path.


Our bike Corps proceed anyway, but further, to proceed carefully the rutted path of stone and grass and tree roots to undulating with steep slope that goes on and is mingled. We’ve arrived Toppun monastery entrance finally while I continue the operation of the patient. Monk living in the gel in the Tibetan Buddhist temple is guarding the temples here. We are taken the admission seemed to become major tourist attractions in Mongolia. The top of a mountain is turned rocky mountain, and reach up to the top and climb the cliff while looking at the monastery on the way.


Here is a temple of Tibetan Buddhism founded in 17 century. It was destroyed in the socialist era, but was rebuilt in recent years. By there is a small cave here, that there is a divine favor to pass through and out there, many are waiting for the order of the wicket womb.

There is a tower of stone “Ovoo”, Tibetan expression “Tarucho” is fluttering the top. Well, view is enough to enjoy the view. Here is Toppun-shireet mountain peak, elevation 2000m.


Well, Where's our inn tonight? We shall go to Batoruji village to which down the mountain. We go to Batoruji village of Orkhon valley along down the road came the original. Byanba's bike is going like to fly on the prairie along down the mountain. I lost sight of the his figure also 500m further grassland because it undulates. I found a puddle in the rut of grassland, and then thrust into the puddle with the speed of about 40 ~ 50km. Lastly, I tumbled with the bike!


I was thrown out on the left side of the puddle. I raised up the bike immediately, but gear change lever is deformed in the shock of the fall. Not able to run straight because front wheel fender is shifted to the left or right direction. Support stay of forward carrier is wrenched off in shock with two. Left foot and left shoulder aches terribly bruised. I told Byanba that I had to fall, but it's tent night tonight we know that there is no inn in Batoruji village.


We bought the food in the shops nearby, and went to Orkhon river again. We finished to set the tent, then Byanba repaired the change lever of my bike. It would be somehow fixed while monkey wrench was clapping as the hammer. Left as it is correct the deviation of the fender, carrier does not move any more. I do not feel the pain so much probably because I was very thrilled by off-road riding. All off-road courses are even so hard and tuff that it is not supposed in Japan. Mileage 126km.


          Orkhon valley


         Orkhon valley

    

June 27

Bang Bang. Gunshot to break the silence of the morning of the plateau, roared around.

I asked Byanba what's sound now. He said it's gunshots of wolf hunting. Mr. Sheruko doll ju who is the head of this tribe might have shot. Blue wolf was existing also in the plateau of Shireet lake. I came here Shireet lake to see a blue wolf.


Genghis Khan was born as a child of the chief of some tribe of nomads, the conqueror talent trying to prove that they draw the blood of his blue wolf. He attempted the expedition that extend to Europe through fierce struggle with other ethnic groups, and lastly he unified the Mongolia. Blue wolf who has a desire for conquest, repeated aggression and plunder until his death at 65 years old he continues to live today.


Temperature of morning and evening is low in this plateau. Because temperature drop 6 degrees at an altitude of 1000m, here would be 13 degrees lower than on level ground.


It is full rest day today. I observe the lifestyles of nomadic busy in milking cows and sheep shearing and sheep split firewood. They are living in the livestock center if you are keeping sheep, horse, cow, goat, yak. Since the property is livestock, they're to nomadic in search of grassland as a livestock feed. Attachment to the land and things are few they. It is his life in a self-contained frugal and simple to self-sufficiency sake horse milk liquor of fermented foods, butter, cheese, yogurt, and milk from the Arch to be obtained. They have repeated this kind of life for thousands of years. They'll pick the wheat from the city. Two of mutton stir-fried noodles and mutton soup noodles are their basic meal. Fried dumplings with mutton called Ho shawl is a feast.


Toilet is a outside of the gel of course. There is rock in the grassland nearby, there's become natural toilet. I do not get used to do, so walked up to the long distant in the rocky mountain where is calm.


We three make a round trip to the Shireet lake to ride horses from late morning. It is an unexplored region that does not come anybody. There is no one other than the horse and three of us. No bikes, no people. Here's the destination Shireet lake.


The name of the wife of the main house gel is Nanjeruma. 57-year-old. The name of the husband Sheruko doll Ju 58-year-old. He is chief of family here. Nanjeruma married a Sheruko doll Ju to come to this place at the age of 22 in '35 years before. Yungest child is 14-year-old daughter at the time of the now 43-year-old. She has 10 children, some people lives for different occupation in different places, some of people has formed this family. She said we are the three time’s guest here. Daughter of beauty rare in nomads of 24-year-old graduate student at the University in Ulaanbaatar, She was coming home in about two weeks here in the summer vacation.


Nanjeruma that let daughter looks great educate in the University of Ulaanbaatar, has never been to the capital Ulaanbaatar. Byanba asks to her, whether they live why radio and television do not work, in this inconvenient location of this deep in the mountains ...


She said "Married Sheruko doll ju by marriage 35 years ago, came to this ground. And she really loves this place that gave birth to ten children". Core strength and graciousness and good nature and feminine are out on the face Nanjeruma. Increasing the livestock equal to increase the property, she also gave birth to 10 people as

a valuable worker in the nomadic life. We'll call her, Great Mother.

They are cutting the wool of the sheep.


They are living among the animals.


Young horse guide.



Finished horse riding from Shireet lake.

†June 28

Unlike yesterday, it's perfect weather for this morning. Because Mr. Sheruko doll Ju has errands in the Batoruji village, it was decided to accompany with us. It brings us a feeling of relief and encourage in fact. Result of root examination, going out to Batoruji village once, then We're going to north and then going to Checherurigu.



There are hiding small animals such as squirrels and out the face from the hole here and there of grassland. They are called Tarubagatsu, this is a kind of squirrel marmot family.

They are baby still now, and they will put fat in the fall. Tarubagatsu that fat plump be early fall is shot in gun. Internal organs are judged, then it is baked in burned stone wrapped in skin and meat. This is called Horuhoggu. This seems to be very delicious favorite food in the nomad. Byanba set up a thumb and nodded deeper. It is not on the menu of restaurants, only in the nomad’s dining room of course. I want to eat, but Horuhoggu is a high-risky to eat for us Japanese people seemed to mediate Yersinia pestis.



We were invited to the main gel before leaving. Carpet made by vinyl was spread on top of the grassland in the gel. They are wearing leather boots all the time among all of the gel in order to go to take care of livestock at any time.

I drink a small vodka and horse milk liquor recommended by Sheruko doll Ju who sit in front of the bed. There are three beds in the back and left and right side in the gel. Nanjeruma knead the flour in a cutting board that was placed on top of the knee of Nanjeruma who is perched on a bed on the left. Daughter of good looks who sat next to Nanjeruma put the bean paste made from onions and chopped meat of sheep. It's mutton dumplings called Ho shawl that is a feast of Mongolian. Daughter of a 14-year-old put the oil in a large pot which was put on the stove, to deep-fry the Ho shawl. When it went up brown is ready to be eaten.

Daughters take care also drinking horse milk liquor from time to time, they put it to their face with a drop. It is face lotion instead.



Say goodbye to the family while receiving the send-off of the Great mother. We raise the pace by the lead of Mr. Sheruko doll Ju. Go down carefully at steep slope of the mountain pass that was bogged down in the coming time before while to keep balance with both legs in very slow at turn off the engine and follows the Mr. Sheruko doll Ju. We broke up with him in Batoruji, we head to the Checherurigu. It follows the rut of soil and desert grassland. Byanba asked sometimes to the nomads which is the right way to Checherurigu.

Checherurigu is a pretty big town. There was a traffic light rare in the city. Altitude 1750m.

We promptly to decide to stay at Bulgan hotel I saw in the city. One twin room is 25000 Tg. Since there is no shower in the hotel, I go to pay for shower nearby. It is a shower for the first time in this touring. We come back to life from the body of rain, sweat, mud, water in the river. Water's valuable because there is no water supply system in Mongolia here.



As usual, We had a dinner of lamb meat soup noodles with milk tea in the dining room that is attached to the hotel.

We were going to buy vodka at the grocery store next door, but it is liquor's ban on sales today because it is election day of the president. But there, I speak to youth like son of the store in English. I argue that it does not matter presidential election because I am Japanese, it becomes that they can sell us in secret, and it was put in small cardboard box.



Ever, 20 times across the river. I experienced the river over the various situations from the creek to the big river. However, over the river is difficult. It's easy to slip a large stone is rolling around in the bottom of a river. The knack of across the river is to keep the certain accelerator in the second or low gear and to take the straight course with forward riding position. The falling down many times at first, I sometimes submerge the engine, but it was progress to professional grade for crossing the river by now. Shoes and feet are always wet, but I have no longer have to worry about the details anymore. Off-road mileage 184km of patience.



Great mother

In the gell.

Horse milk liquor and butter.

Bulgan hotel.

June 29

Today, the weather is rainy. We aim to Ugi lake located 100km north of Kharkhorin. I go through the long-awaited asphalt road that extends from Checherurigu to Ulaanbaatar today.

Turning to the left in the middle of the asphalt road, We go in the rutted off-road path. Wind has become stronger. The body gets cold. I wear a Russian-made camouflage colored jacket and trousers, but there is no work at all for waterproof. It's just a windbreaker. Since there is no waterproof function, cool rain goes through easily to my trousers.


We aim the Ugi lake earnestly over mountains, hills, and valleys. Now, suddenly new road which is coverd by floating sand, appears. We wrestle with floating sand while keeping the half-baked speed because it's speed keeps the course. It seems Byanba unsteadily go forward, but somehow he get up the bike. There are various kinds of road conditions where there is anything further from approaching the Ugi lake, We get into a somewhat flat road to escape barely even there.


From there, Byanba go to fly and fly. In the end, tail lamp of Byanba that seems to have vanished from sight, I got lost in a meadow in Mongolia bitterly. I do not know which is the right way because there is nothing only these rut. I get lost more and more if I go forward and badly ...

In the meanwhile, headlight glow in the front. Byanba has turned back. I also go after him. Tourist camp is dotted around the lake. Here, this is popular tourist destination in Mongolia.



We found the appropriate camp for 30000 Tg for 1 gel, then entered the gel. We, dry shoes, socks, clothing and take a warm stove immediately. Heavy heavy my leather jacket is covered with mud and blowing the salt like crazy wet with rain. It's a tragic state enough to think there is no choice but to throw away. Dinner they bring us to the gel was sheep meat into soup noodles. Tea is not a “Suwatechai”, there was powder coffee named "Yeh Yeh coffee" and hot water like a tourist camp. Creep and sugar became together to come out. Drinking Instant coffee

in this style is delicious to feel sweetness of sugar which was immersed in body strangely.


Byanba asked me ... "why is your bike very slow?"

He sometimes disappear from the view When he enter the flat road, he goes to fly it looks like a young man. I do not say to him to be slow down before until now.


Here, I am a wayward tourist who came to be angry then I had a special speech to him at last. I spoke "I am not to be slow, you are too fast, no ... It is not your hobby, you should be working as a guide, in the duties of the course control to support your customers through this touring, such as running disappear from the view at least is useless.


It is one week soon to travel with two people, me and Byanba. It is a tour of minimum one guide, one person a total of two guests. Up to now, has traveled freely to take care each other, but the good side as a guide, bad surface emerged gradually. Originally, it is better to expect such services delicate texture of Japanese style is a mistake, I should I participate in an expensive tour that has been organized completely if desired it. It's the About originally Cheke Tours cheap because it is adventure tour.


Byanba heard in silence what I said, but rounded up once this story, even if it becomes to 9:00 rain up, go out for a walk to the sandbar that was jutting out into the lake. Angler of Mongolia is lure fishing in the sandbar. It looked for a while but not fished much. They have released the fish catch of about 30cm. Mongolian do not eat too much fish. Dinner is sheep meat soup noodles as well tonight.

Asphalt road 40km, 82km off-road odometer 122km.



Ugi lake at 9 p.m.


June 30

It is sunny today, Mongolia's nice weather from the morning. We shall then be in consultation with the Byanba, to shorten a day itinerary of us and 1 from 2 July the original Ulaanbaatar arrival. And We decided to go to bike shop tour in Ulaanbaatar on last 1 day. We have decided to stay tonight in tourist camp near Ulaanbaatar suburbs at once today.


The running 12km off-road from Ugi lake, we came out to asphalt road long-awaited. Ulan Bator to a whole line paved road from here. Majestic landscape of this area is very similar to the landscape of Arizona in USA. It's about an same scenery looks like the Monument Valley area or the Grand Canyon unintentionally. Here is similar to an altitude of 1500m above sea level in Arizona. We are fast cruising in the great majestic road in Mongolia, to lunch break in the middle at Lung. While looking at the way to Hustai National Park, We discovered the tourist camp near Ulaanbaatar, then visited a tourist camp 3km turn left from the national road. Byanba and hostess greeted as far as the gate of the extensive grounds to negotiate. Accommodation charge is 10000 Tg for Mongolian, and $ 15 for foreigner.


Her's name is M.s. Oyun, after she have lived long in Aichi prefecture under Mongolia Japan embassy work, she have management in Mongolia the tourist camp now. It is a camp with facilities to sell Japanese style service depends on Japan connection. It's a luxury building large toilet, shower, and a restaurant and banquet hall. Today is the last night of the tour. Dinner menu, order the “Chansunmaha”. It is a feast of Mongolian best dish of boiled flour Nan, vegetables and bone-in mutton”. I pay 25000 Tg. Byanba also pleased.


We take a shower, we relaxed. Here, vast tourist camp in the vast grassland. It is further enhances the value of this tourist camp is the views over dozens of times surrounding the circumference of the vast grassland. Referred to as the "JIRIMIIN TSAGAAN NUUR TOURIST CAMP", here, seems to be sent Japanese tourists of travel agencies in Japan has partnered with.


In this case, I was introduced to Mr. Ishimoto 41-year-old of Japanese traveler. He has been traveling about 1 year, and stay in Mongolia now after traveling Asia, the Middle East. While exchanging information about the journey of each other, We promise next meeting.

Off-road mileage 12km, asphalt mileage 256km, a total of 268km.



Lastly, got the paved road bound for Ulaanbaatar.

Sunshine is very hot, but wind in the plateau is cold.

Leather jacket and neck warmer are just enough at this weather.



Looks like the scenery of Arizona U.S.A.


Stopped at Lun for lunch break on the way to Ulaanbaatar.


At tourist camp near Ulaanbaatar.

Falling down damaged place:

  1. Front carrier broken
  2. Change pedal in failure
  3. Front fender in failure
  4. Engine guard in failure
  5. Reset button of mileage meter broken

July 1

Today's the last day of the touring. Ulaanbaatar is a remaining 65km. Run around in the grassland heading to the hill in the neighborhood. We will not suffer a helmet because it is the last day. We are on the way to Ulaanbaatar city in response to the send-off of all of camp.


We arrived at 13:00 only Cheke Tours enters the city to master the congestion. Cheke was out of office because of going to the local business trip.

Front carrier repair price I was worried about was cheap 20000 Tg only!

I got to return the passport and deposit $ 200.

Asphalt road mileage is 65km.


Total mileage of 7 nights 8 days, asphalt road mileage 611km, off-road mileage 610km total of 1221km.


“Mashifu virallar” (Thank you very much) for cheke tours, Byanba, and Mongolia! (End)



(Supplement)

Listed unwanted stuff or did not use what I bring in this touring.

mosquito-repellent incense, mosquito spray, (There was no mosquito), digital camera (taken by the camera of a smart phone),sig bottle(discard allowed, if opening just liquor bottle) GPS, pliers with multi-tool, 7 inches tablet, solar charger, flashlight (sufficient with the head light), soy sauce (Japanese food is not necessary in Mongolia), cap(bandana use but not use caps), water purifier (as drinking water river or lake but there is no survival such), sunscreen, eye drops, antiseptic solution (look at the life of nomads, disinfection in saliva ),jeans one set to change, preliminary one spare underwear(one set enough), preliminary rechargeable battery(spare also reduce gear ), fishing tackle (no time for fishing)etc.


I learned that the nomads try to paint the butter on their lips instead of lip balm.

Therefore, I tried to do so in a same manner.



M.s. Oyun is on left side, Mr. Ishimoto is right side of me.