Day 22: Manjusri Monastery and Ger Camp

Day 22: August 14th

As it turned out, we were not going to the Gobi but going to spend our time in the Mongolian Steppe. We started the day with a visit to the Manjusri Monastery. It is south of UB and was established in the early 1700s. Much of it was destroyed during the communist era and the ruins are clearly visible. The main complex has been restored and is now a museum.

What was most striking about this trip was just the stunning mountains and beauty all around us. After a short hike and lunch we made our way to a Ger(traditional Mongolian nomadic tent) for the night. We got there fairly early and spent the afternoon playing with the kids of the families, taking long walks and drinking Airag ( fermented mare’s milk…left out in the sun all day..needless to say, it was not a pretty sight, but we didn’t want to offend the family). The camp was just stunning… In a huge meadow, as far as the eye could see surrounded by wind swept hills in the distance with not a single tree on them….just grass. All over the place we could see grazing cows, sheep, horses and yaks. It was just so beautiful and peaceful.

The kids of the two families were very friendly early in the afternoon…and while Bill played basketball with the boys, the little girls wanted me to take their pictures and in return, pluck me a lot of flowers! It was very sweet!:)

There was no electricity in the camp so there wasn’t much to do after 9pm..we shared our Ger with our two guides and our driver, It was a good start to our Mongolian adventure!:)

Beautiful Mongolian Steppe

Beautiful Mongolian Steppe

Hiking to the Monastery

Hiking to the Monastery

Alleged birthplace of Chinggis Khan

Alleged birthplace of Chinggis Khan

Monastery Ruins

Monastery Ruins

At our Ger camp

At our Ger camp

My new friends...I told the little one on the right to give me a big grin!:)

My new friends…I told the little one on the right to give me a big grin!:)

Drinking Airag... Not a lot of fun!

Drinking Airag… Not a lot of fun!

Panoramic shot of our Ger camp...those white dots at the right extreme are our Gers.

Panoramic shot of our Ger camp…those white dots at the right extreme are our Gers.

On the main highway about a mile from the camp

On the main highway about a mile from the camp

Adorable !

Adorable !

Little girl chasing the cows home

Little girl chasing the cows home

Bill hanging out with the boys... Playing basketball!

Bill hanging out with the boys… Playing basketball!

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