Mongolia 2012. Day 12: Lost!! Near Tsagannanuur

19th of august, 2012.mongolia day 12

Click on the image to see map

I didn’t have a shower next day. At all.

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When I woke up I found it had snowed. In August. And the rain hadn’t stopped neither. So I just stayed in, read, and ate. And be happy because I had enough food.

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The rain stopped by 12ish. So I packed everything and left that place. It was even sad, since it was that pretty. I guess I was just unlucky with the weather. The snow, anyway, was some 100m higher than where I was, so cycling wasn’t a problem. And, in a way, snow made it beautiful as well.

According to both maps I had (the one I bought in Ulan Baator and the one they gave at the entrance of the park), from where I was I had to keep on going west, left the second lake at my right (that was north), and then turn right. That’s what I did, even if it wasn’t the most obvious choice, because the trail took you inlands, far away from the lakes, and it didn’t cross between both lakes. I thought that trail was taking me through a valley that was not the one I had to follow, and that I better pay attention to the maps.

Wrong.

First of all, the second lake was nowhere to be seen. Maybe it was that small well I saw, maybe it wasn’t. Whatever.

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Then, I couldn’t find any way north. Nor that bigger road I was going to join (according to the maps, again). So I kept on cycling, crossed 2 rivers, until I was pretty sure I was doing something wrong and I asked for directions. And yes, they told me I was wrong.

They pointed me in a direction that could take me towards Jargalant, but you could see it was raining pretty hard there. So I decided to turn around, cycle backwards, and find the proper way. Meanwhile, hopefully, the clouds would go away.

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I couldn’t find my way, though. That road on the maps was nowhere to be found. So I decided to cycle to the closest town, which was south and which I could see from where I was, to buy some food and rest. I took a trail that seemed to go straight to that town. Wrong.

After crossing some minor rivers, I found myself in front of a huge, 20 m wide and who-knows-how deep river. So i decided to cycle next to it til i found a bridge to cross. After all, according to the map, there was a bridge somewhere. Wrong.

It was really hard to cycle there. The trails were gone. Only kettle was there. And moskitoes. And wet shoes. Crap.

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After some 30 minutes, I decided this was pointless. The river was very curvy and i wasn’t really going anywhere. So i basically decided to go straight to where I had started that morning. And that’s what I did.

Once I was almost there, I asked a family for directions to Jargalant. They pointed me to the trail I had seen that morning, just 1 km from where I had camped, but that I didn’t follow because of the maps. I promised I wasn’t going to pay any attention to maps in that country ever again. And I (almost) fulfilled that promise. Yes, i was angry.

The road, the proper road, is very nice here. Up and down (mostly up, though), some river crossing, proper mountain trail but easy to ride, wide open valleys… Still, i was very tired (the cold, the wet shoes, no food at all, only saw the sun at about 18.00, once I hit the “correct” trail…) so I decided to sleep in the first placeI found. No tent that night.

And that happened to be a ger camp. A real one, no tourism at all. What an experience. Couldn’t understand a word, but that was the less important fact. Still, that’s another story.

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