11 July 2006

letter from Mongolia July 7th 2006 ^

Hello everybody.....we finally made it to lake Khovsgol, very near the Russian border and we could in fact see the distant snowcapped peaks that line the border between the two countries. Unfortunately we had to carry our bikes over flooded rivers, stony ground and mud up to the knees. We did reach a mountain pass (called "davoo") Jaglet Davoo at 2000metres only to get bogged on the other side at the confluence of two beautiful rivers. It means that we miss out on the alpine regions where the reindeer people still live in teepees. So we have headed back and I am writing from Moron on our way cross country to Tsetserleg; which means garden city. The people here are so friendly and remind me of the Australian Outback of 20 years ago, when people all helped each other but also competed in a friendly manner. Today we had two traditionally dressed herders (on horses) race us through a mountain pass and they simply laughed all the way...I must say it was neck to neck at 35kph!!! The Naddam festival starts soon and is vaguely like an olympics with horse racing, bow and arrow contests and wrestling. Apparently if you are in a small town they encourage "gringos" such as myself to compete. "Moi!" wrestling, could be good as you have to slap the loser on the gluteus maximus afterwards. Bye for now and lots of love.

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