I’m bucketing the next two days in this entry. The first day being checking out a large waterfall in central Mongolia on our way to the old capital city. The second day being the old capital city and its the ancient temple complex that remains there.
The day of driving to the waterfall ger camp was the same as the others. Driving mostly through fields of gold, passed lots of sheep, and doing lots of reading. To be honest I love driving so sitting a car for hours a day looking at the vastness of the steep and catching up on reading in itself is a good day for me. The always eating gamey lamb is the only part that is annoying.
When we arrived at the ger camp we met the owners. It, like the reindeer family, was a older couple with their ger, and a newly married couple with their own new ger. However, this ger camp was special in the sense that this family had no animals. The get camp was their livelihood, as such they did not have to move it,.. ever,.. and it was decked out. The ger had a fridge and legit crib for their baby and a separate freezer, baller. While Jessy, Mogi, and I sat with the newlyweds and drank beer. Bimba drove off to town with the husband to get some supplies. A picture of their ger is below. There is one cultural tidbitt I want to point out in the image below. See the picture in the back. Click on the image and zoom in. It is a bird on a rabbit on a monkey on an elephant. It refers to a buddist story, and you see this image, or statues of it all over the place in Mongolia.
After hanging out with the family we went in search of the waterfall. It was a little strange looking for it because we were essentially on a flat plain and the river and waterfall in narrow canyon. It made for a “you can here a gushing waterfall, but not see it” experience. Eventually we found it. The picture to the right shows the view from the plain. Again as with everything else here there are no safety mechanisms to make sure no one drives or falls over the edge.
To the get down into the canyon and to the base of the falls you scale down the rock wall at a place where it is not quite as steep. you can see that in the picture to the left of this text block. If you zoom in you can see Mogi and Jessy walking at the bottom of the rock wall and that will give you some better perspective on how high it was. At the base there were horse tracks and droppings so further down the canyon there most be a larger or flatter way to get down to the bottom. At teh base was a river rilled with rocks. We spent some time hopping around the rocks making our way to the falls, where we just sat down and watched it. I had had videos, which again are lost due to my phone breaking. What the images don’t show is that the canyon had an up draft and the area above the waterfall pool was filled with shimmering seeds that would float up on teh up draft, then float back down until that got caught again in the updraft.
The Old Capital
The next morning we headed out to the old capital. The capital that we say was basically a large walled Buddhist temple complex. It had been partially destroyed during World War two by the Japanese and large areas of it were still not excavated. The significant differences between this temple complex and others we had seen would be
- The fact that it was surrounded by a large city wall with the gates.
- The fact that it had stone markets with Tibetan written on them
- One of the sub temples had monks chanting sutras, again on a lost video recording
- The shear size of it.
- The number of vendors outside the city walls selling fake goods and fake coins that they “found” in the temple.
I’ll just post some pictures below that you can look through. I think Jessy’s highlight of the day was when Bimba launched the car off a ramp while I was drinking a coke in the backseat and I spilled it all over me.