Day 19: Hustai to Uggi Lake (August 12)
*photos to come later*
Today marked the earliest morning of the trip so far. With a fair bit of driving ahead of us today, we wanted to get an earlier start. We agreed the night before to have breakfast at 7:30am and to have our bags packed up before then. I opted to. up pretty much everything I didn’t need the night before to give myself some more time to sleep in. It proved to be pretty useless since I woke up at 6:30am having to pee. Once I was up I couldn’t really get back to sleep, but I laid back in bed anyhow until about 7am. Around that time Jamie and I brought our bags to the car. After some frustrating conversation with Dave in the morning, I made the decision to simply avoid him as much as possible and make no effort to go out of my way to do him any favors. It’s disappointing really since I want this trip to be something that brings us all closer, but it sometimes feels like he puts up a wall and is always is on the defensive even when there is absolutely no reason to be so. It can make it very difficult to spend any time with him.
The drive today was our longest one yet and times seemed to be taking forever. The scenery didnt change much after the first hour or so so it all sort of blended together. For most of the ride, we did our own thing (listening to music, podcasts, playing games, etc). There were a few drive highlights for me though. One of the highlights was driving through herds of goats on two occasions (once while they were just wandering and another time when someone was on a horse directing them our way along the road. Another cool highlight was seeing a bird swoop down and catch some kind of rodent on the road and fly away with it in it’s talons. We also drove through a herd of cows on one of two occasions during the drive. Alongside the road, it was cool to see a large number of cows, horses, sheep, and goat throughout the drive. On one occasion early on in the ride we also saw a group of camel together. One of the cool things about Mongolia is that these animals aren’t fenced in at all and are sort of free to roam as they please.
We eventually arrived at camp at about 12:30pm and made plans to have lunch at 1pm. With lunch plans settled, we made our way to our gers with our bags. Kim and I bunked together today, Dave got his own ger tonight, and Jamie shared a bunk with my other brother. The camp sits quite close to the lake and as soon as a few of us saw it we were keen to go swimming. Kim, unfortunately, didn’t bring a swimsuit but said she would at least to put her legs in the water.
Lunch at 1pm wasn’t anything special (salad, soup, and rice with veggies and french fries). During lunch, we talked about plans for the day and decided that after lunch we would all go down to the water to swim and that after swimming we’d consider renting a boat or possibly jet skis.
Once we got to the water only a few of decided to actually go swimming. Kim put her legs in for a bit and Dave tanned on the beach. Around 3pm we all hopped in the car and drove to a nearby area so a couple of the others could rent some fishing gear and a boat. With a fishing tournament happening this weekend though it was all rented out. We tried next to visit a research centre, but it was also closed so we went back to our camp. On the way Jamie inquired about archery as he’d noticed so targets set up at one of the camps we passed. Tugi called out the campground and they confirmed that they had archery available. Once we got back we relax for a short bit of time and then went to go check out the archery area. We all gave it a shot trying to hit a target. Dave and Jamie I think eventually hit it. I was terrible and didn’t particularly enjoy it. I think I’ll stick to archery tag for the future. It’s far more fun and easier. Kim and I got bored of it quicker than the others and went for a short walk.
With it still being quite warm out we went back to the water for a while. I was the only one that went swimming, but one of my brothers stood knee-deep reading and Kim walked in a bit. Dave tanned on the beach again and Jamie stuck around for a bit before deciding to go back up to the camp. After changing everyone did their own thing. I hung it in the ger for a bit listening to music and writing. I really can’t get enough of the few songs that I have from Dizzy. I’ve been counting down the days until their album comes out on the 17th and can’t wait to hear the other songs I haven’t heard yet. Eventually, I found myself getting sleepy so I took a great power nap before dinner.
Dinner tonight was quite similar to lunch (fries, salad, rice and veggies), but it served it’s purpose. When we finished eating all of us, but Dave went for a short walk and decided we would listen to a couple episodes of the podcast. Unfortunately for some reason the episodes we wanted to listen to weren’t on my phone and we couldn’t access the internet to get them. We relaxed for a bit before taking a short bit of time to enjoy the sky. Using Jamie’s app we were able to identify they the planet we were seeing were Mars and Jupiter (and not Venus as I had previously thought). After looking a short bit we all took some time to get ready for bed. Tomorrow morning brings another early morning with breakfast at 7:30am again.