Ulgii or is it Olgii or maybe Olgiy

Click on the links below to visit other parts of Mongolia:
Eclipse, Gobi desert, Hustain Nuruu Reserve, International Intellectual Museum, Kharkhorum, Kherlan River Valley, Ulaanbataar, UlgiiYol valley, Mongolia wildflowers

A map showing where we visited can be found by clicking here
Remember to come back to see the rest of our trip after you look around Goggle maps.

Our first ger camp was on the western part of Mongolia just outside the town of Ulgi or Olgi or Ulgii depending on your choice of reference.
Michael brought an 8 inch telescope that  could be disassembled and carried in two small packs.
He  had it set up on every clear night for star and planet gazing.
Fancy accommodations inside our ger

The view of two nomad gers and their herd of goats.
Our camp can barely be seen in the distance on the right of the picture with the town of Ulgii in the distance.

We would often sit by the river in our spare time.

Hawks would flock to an island in the river every evening which we all thought was unusual for raptors.
Erka enjoyed my magic and learned a couple of tricks that he used to stump our drivers.
We took a hike from camp to try to find  some Deer Stones that were said to be nearby.
We passed this camp and were greeted by the kids that lived there.
Tanner seems to be more rambunctious than usual.

What we found.
More likely Man Stones, not very old, rather than ancient Deer Stones.

A dancer and musicians provided entertainment one evening, Tom gave talks on the sun and eclipses other nights and you can see another common evening activity.

On our way to the eclipse site we stopped to see an actual Man Stone.
Near the river were the only large trees we saw in all of Mongolia,

The day of the eclipse we went further west to get closer to the centerline so we would see a few more seconds of totality.
We had to ford this river to get to the site that had been selected.

The eclipse site, wide open with only a few clouds close to the horizon, well away from the sun.

Yaks were in the field where we set up.
They are smaller than I had imagined.
Kids came out from the town to see what we were doing. 
That pony nearly gave Nancy a shower when it relieved itself while standing next to her.
The herd of goats never got too close though I was concerned that if they did they might disturb our equipment.
Observing apparatus ranged from telescopes with and without cameras to binoculars and black plastic film.
And at the really low end, an array of pinholes in a piece of cardboard was used to project images of the of the partial phase eclipse crescent.
The local folks came over to see what we were doing.
We had no common language but we were able to communicate a little.
I even got to hold this little one.
This young boy had no idea why I wanted him to hold the tin of candy we had given him so I could get a picture of it.
They are Eclipse mints.

We stopped by this little mosque the way back to camp.

We drove out from town to where we could meet some eagle hunters.
The view back toward town as we set out.

The hunters.
Some of the group got to hold the birds.
They also had a wolf pup tied up near their ger.

We were invited in and served candy, cheese and yogurt.
As usual I had fun with the kids.
They were definitely off the grid so they had a large solar panel for power.

Birds on the wing.
Eagles, hawks, kites, kestrels, or something else, I don't know.

As we were driving along Stu spotted these petroglyphs on the cliffs.
Also on the cliffs we saw eagles in a nest while one circled overhead.

We had time to do some exploring so we decided to drive south to try to find a petroglyph site mentioned in the museum in Ulaanbataar.
We stopped to check out this rock art and these kids came over to check us out.
We didn't find more petroglyphs but we did enjoy this promontory by a lake that had a natural rock garden.
I found a cave and this goat corral during a hike back to the cliff line at another stop along the way.
We stopped where these guys were fixing a tire.
The only problems we had were an overheated engine, cured by a stop and opening the cover to let it cool.

Some of the Mongol Rally cars were passing through Ulgii.
They had driven more than 10,000 miles from London and weren't done yet.
The finish line was in Ulaanbataar still more than 700 miles by "road".

The bazaar was what you might expect.
Narrow alleys, crowds of people, everything you might want: fruit, candy, fabric, felt, yarn, clothing, hardware, food, and nearly anything else you might want.
Folks liked having their picture taken.
If they saw you had a camera they would line up and smile.

Many thanks to our friends from the trip for sharing their good company, videos, and pictures with us and with you.
Thanks again Alice, Lee, Eleanor, Michael, Joyce, David, Juliana, Tom, Stu, and Tanner.

Click on the links below to visit other parts of Mongolia:
Eclipse, Gobi desert, Hustain Nuruu Reserve, International Intellectual Museum, Kharkhorum, Kherlan River Valley, Ulaanbataar, UlgiYol valley, Mongolia wildflowers

See other places we have visited here.

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