JUNE 24, 2009: WEDNESDAY

OFF WE GO INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER

We boarded another "Sherman" for our trip out to Jalman Meadows (150 km northeast of UB) where we would be staying at an Eco Ger Camp for the next several days. We were accompanied by a group from Germany who were traveling to the camp to ride Mongolian horses across the vast countryside.

As we lumbered along, we began to notice an ENORMOUS silver statue appearing on the horizon. A private group is in the process of building a statue/tribute/tourist stop celebrating the life of Chinggis (Ghenggis) Khan. It was impressively large and in a country where most things are very basic this statue stands out quite clearly as something that would only be visited by the wealthiest few or by tourists.

Jalman Meadows is located in a Highly Protected Region of Eastern Mongolia. It would be comparable to our National Forests and grazing is limited so this area looked much different from most areas I had seen. The grass was long and green, the river was clean and garbage was scarce. This is what my vision of Mongolia initially was.

The camp is an Eco Camp, so, there is a minimal footprint on the landscape. Local people are hired to work and run the operation so money stays in the local economy. The food is supplied by locals whenever possible. The only source of power is from solar panels or the small wind turbine. It is as peaceful and serene a place as anyone could imagine!


Upon arrival, a man with a yak and cart piled up our luggage and set off toward our gers. No vehicles allowed anywhere near the camp!


We found our ger and relaxed...


Tomorrow, we would turn this vacation into an adventure!


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