25 June 2009

Khosgol Lake – Horse riding fun!

After a rather long and painful journey, we finally arrived in Khatgal.

It was so nice to be welcomed at the bus by some people from the guest house and greeted with full service: tea/coffee, dinner and arrangements for our horse riding trip! Sounded like luxury after a big nightmare!

Because we were short in time we decided to start our trip the next day, along the western side of the Lake.

They managed to find a guide as well as 3 horses (2 for us and 1 for our luggage). The guide spoke English and he was going to meet us the next day. We agreed pricing (not much margin for negotiation in Mongolia), rented extra sleeping bags to avoid being cold at night as we had been around Baikal and went to bed , with a nice wood fire on our side – the best night sleep in a long time!!

From 200906 khovsgol lake northern mongolia

The next morning, we woke up to a nice breakfast served in our room and met our guide - Bat. His English was very limited but he seemed nice so we did not say anything!

We rode the horses to go grocery shopping (most expensive rice and pasta we had seen in Mongolia!) as we were going to cook for the guide and us each day. He was supposed to bring his own food and we were going to share but he may have forgotten! We then left for the 4 day trip.

From 200906 khovsgol lake northern mongolia

During this trip, we stopped in various families, including his own, where we had tea and goat yogurt. He showed us the pictures of the different trips he had done with tourists (to make us feel comfortable).

It was nice although sometimes it was not needed and felt like he was visiting his friends.

We slept in a Ger one night (potential bad weather) although we wanted to use our tente and be on the shore of the lake I guess he wanted to help his friends make some business with tourists!

Apart from this delicate attention ;-), he was very nice and very helpful. We managed to ride the horses quite well – except for a mini jump from the horse by Myself who had decided to take out my jacket on the horse...

We named our horses Cannabis and Canasson. They were rather quiet but got a bit more punchy towards the end. Our knees and bottom was very sore after 4 days.

In terms of visits we saw endless views of the Lake, a reindeer family (very touristy), the Toilogt lake and we even saw from far away the Oural Mountains at the north side of the lake.

From 200906 khovsgol lake northern mongolia

We enjoyed it but some of it was very similar to Lake Baikal which spoiled a bit our enthusiasm. Also we won't mention anything about the journey back as it was worse... Imagine a 9 seat Russian van packed with 18 people for 20h....

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