Halfway to Tosontsengel (Тосонцэнгэл)

Friday, May 30, 2014

After breakfast in our room we drove about 20km west of Moron to go and see the Deer Stones there (link to follow). We learned about these while visiting the National Museum in Ulaanbaatar and were hoping to be able to see some for real.

There are between 500 and 700 of those sites and this one happens to be the largest collection, and, lucky us, very accessible from Moron. Why ‘Deer Stones’? Because most of them have depictions of deer on them, along with other animals. A few also have human faces. One of the tallest (and the most slender) stone here has a very well preserved and eerily beautiful female face on it.

We then returned to Moron as the road we needed left from there. Just past the airport heading into town, Stephen decided to change out the back left tire for the spare. Over the last days he’d been hearing this ‘unidentifiable’ sound coming of it, and this was a way to try and see whether it was coming from the tire or the wheel hub. The sound hasn’t been heard since, but then again that can only be really heard on sealed roads (too much noise on dirt roads).

So then, at 11:50 am, we left Moron for the 3rd and last time.

The drive was a combination of rocky (while going over passes or through dry riverbeds) and corrugated roads, a stretch or two of ‘improved’ road (ie.: a track actually intentionally made not just by tire tracks, which usually means: not very smooth) and some nice stretches of our favorite: smooth grassland tracks.

We filled up with fuel in Tsagaan Uul at about 4pm and after that started looking for a place to set up camp. About an hour later we decided on a spot away from the road and close to a lake. The wind was again quite strong, but with our annex deployed we could comfortably cook and eat out of the back of Sterlin. Finding fresh vegetables proved to be a bit of challenge in Mongolia, but the day before, besides onions, we scored a nice cabbage. That together with pasta and packaged soup as a sauce was a winning dinner combination.

After dinner we went for an evening stroll up the hill before getting our camp and ourselves ready for the night. The wind had died down by then and we were hoping it would stay that way during the night. Our rooftop tent could handle quite a lot, but the noise could be a bit much.
Turned out the wind did stay down, apart from one short burst sometime during the night, so we slept well. We didn’t have any visitors at this campsite.

No 95 Octane fuel, but there is still Love in Moron.
Deer Stone. Can you see the deer?
Deer Stone collection
Leaving Moron
Onwards we go.
Camping spot by a lake.