As a token welcome to my Mongol hosts, I handed over a bottle of vodka. The old herdsmen opened the bottle and poured one small glass to be handed around the group. With his ring finger and thumb he dipped into the glass spilling a drop of vodka three times to the sky, the water and the earth in honour and respect for their environment.
In daily life, you can observe and feel this great respect for the land, these vast expanses of steppes, the absolute magnitude, beauty and wonder of the Mongolian countryside. Virgin nature! That's all there is, once you leave the capital.
It's the endless and intact expanses of Mongolia's land, that insure the survival of half of the country's nomadic herdsmen, moving from place to place by horse or camel in harmony with nature. On the other hand, the land provides habitats for wildlife species such as the snow leopard, the Gobi bear, the wild camel, the wild mountain sheep, the wild ass.
Legendary Gobi desert occupies a major part of the country with sand dunes, saxaul forest, flaming cliffs-stores of dinosaur fossils, fascinating plant and animal species. People breed the Bactrian camel here, a two-humped camel, able to endure the extremes of cold and hot.
There is more to discover:
Orkhon Valley: ancient ruins of Kharkhorum, the former capital and the spectacular Waterfall Orkhon.
Mongolian Steppes: vast, flat, treeless plains with herds of gazelle.
Terelj National Park: on the banks of Terelj river, fascinating rock formations and mountains, grassland with endemic wildflowers and edelweiss.
Hovsgul region: reindeer people on Hovsgul Lake, forest and mountains, the Switzerland of Mongolia!
Khorgo-Terhiin Tsagaan Nuur National Park: White Lake Region with ancient volcanoes, canyons, yaks and horses.
Spectacular is the immensity of the landscape, dominated by towering snow-capped mountains with glaciers in West Mongolia: the Mongol Altai mountain ranges!
This land of blue sky is here for you to discover. But it seems - like all outstanding beauties - it's not easy to harvest, not the Garden Eden, where you just step in and pick your fruits. It needs careful preparation, experienced local people with appropriate equipment and open-minded guests who are able to listen to the winds!
I can deliver all!
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