Please login to vote.
Wednesday, 01 March 2023

A Horse Named Stumbles: Exploring Mongolia’s Altai Tavn Bogd on Horseback Featured

  • Print
  • Email
  • AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Rate this item
(3 votes)
A Horse Named Stumbles: Exploring Mongolia’s Altai Tavn Bogd on Horseback Peter J Levine

The narrow trail we were on had a very steep drop off to one side, probably a 45-degree angle, filled with jagged boulders, ending in a fast-rushing glacial stream. And my horse stumbled, repeatedly.  A good friend’s advice to not wear hiking boots while riding now resonated. If the horse fell and I couldn’t rapidly extricate my feet from the stirrups, I would be in deep trouble, very, very far from sophisticated medical treatment, or any for that matter. Now, I fully recognized the significance of smooth soled riding boots.
Having last been on a horse some forty years ago, it was my intention to spend most of my time in Western Mongolia on foot. However, with some helpful hints from our U.S.- based guide and leader Eddy Frank, the founder of Tusker Trails, the use of an Australian saddle, and a seemingly calm steed, I became reasonably comfortable by the end of my first day on horseback.  But, what was I doing in Western Mongolia? The brief answer is exploring one of the most remote and stunningly beautiful places on the planet, Altai Tavan Bogd National Park.

Mongolia is one the least densely populated countries on earth with six people per square mile.  As you go west, towns and villages nearly vanish, and you are left with nomadic herders living at the higher elevations in summer.  This western-most corner of Mongolia - in the Altai mountains - where Mongolia, China and Russia meet (with Kazakhstan also close by), was the site of the adventure. Friends and family, even those with well worn passports, hesitantly asked how do you get there?
Departing from the Washington DC metro area, the “quickest” way to get to Western Mongolia was a non-stop to Istanbul with a connection to Ulaanbaatar; and then another connection to Bayan-Ulgii. All in, approximately 27 hours in transit.
After an overnight in Bayan-Ulgii, the adventure began with a full day drive in a 4-wheel drive vehicle to the entrance of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Within a few minutes of leaving Bayan-Ulgii, the paved road ended.

As I would later discover, paved roads are pretty rare in Mongolia outside Ulaanbaatar and a limited number of towns.

(Page 1 of 4)
Last modified on Wednesday, 01 March 2023

Search Content by Map


All Rights Reserved ©Copyright 2006-2023 inTravel Magazine®
Published by Christina's Arena, Inc.