23rd September – Onwards to Tsetserleg

24 Sep

As we were washing up after the evening meal a couple of local herders came and visited to see if we had a cigarette or a tipple of vodka. We only had a little bit of wine and a few cream wafer biscuits. Not what they wanted but they were very friendly and grateful as they left. Before they went they made wolf noises and pointed behind into the pines by our camp spot. Great thanks, while I was dreaming of water crossings all night, Marjool dreamt of wolves!!

It was certainly a chilly night and although our spot had the last sun of the evening, it was a long time before the sun started the roof defrosting process … we had to move! It was our coldest night so far and had a layer of ice on our blankets as well as the inside of the roof. The weather has been fantastic with clear blue skies every day. A good thing as if there was rain while you were in the valleys, you’d have to wait for the rivers to drop again before you crossed.

It is really worth coming here though as the scenery is amazing … its as though you are camping and driving through the pages of a calendar!


Fairly early in the day we came to a bridge. The crossing was not deep or wide but decided to go over it as it was there. Some of the timbers were loose and so has to be adjusted and wedged with rocks, as if they had separated the wheels would have dropped through.


At the next coffee stop I had the chance to fish for half an hour, while Marjool took some pictures of the yaks. We think our local farmers at home (Helen and Tony) should get some … the milk is supposed to be great for cream.

Just around the corner was another nice view …. we’ll never get anywhere at this rate!


An hour or so later we got to a place where there were bridge supports either side of the river but nothing else. It must have been washed away at some point. We hesitated on the bank as it looked pretty deep. Graham went to ask in a nearby ger, and before the man would even look at the map, we were in for warm milk, bread and cream skimmed of the top of the yaks milk.  They were really nice people again, and they then told us that we did need to cross the river and that the man would lead us by horse. Great!




We took the peoples address so that we could post them some photos from Tsetserleg and went on our way and left some soap and a small bottle of vodka by way of thanks. The man poured some vodka into the lid and threw it up into the opening in the roof of the ger and then poured some into a beaker which was passed around. Before he passed it around he dipped the little finger into the vodka and flicked a few drops of vodka into the air as an offering to the sky gods. I only took a small sip, although the chances of getting the breathalyzer here were fairly small.  They had told us that it was around 70km from here to the town and that Bulgan was about half way.

The rest of the way was much drier, and although there was another couple of small water crossings, nothing to worry about. The scenery changed to grassy rolling hills for the rest of the way with an odd rocky outcrop.


In the afternoon we arrived at Tsetserleg and decided to try to park behind a guest house that was mentioned in the lonely planet called Fairfield. It was supposed to be run by English people and the food was recommended for people who fancied a change from local food. We wanted chips!



In the end we decided to stay in one of the rooms instead. There is tempting food, nice coffee and the staff are lovely. There is even an indirect link between Fairfield and our village at home!

%d bloggers like this: