This Is Mongolia, Baby!

Today we head to Gorkhi Terelj National Park. It’s a short day for us all to get our gear sorted out. Started out a little bit hectic. The traffic is absolutely horrible, it doesn’t move! Even on bikes it’s so tight you can’t split lanes. There is no traffic control or stop light so everybody just tries to shuffle forward. We get separated a couple of times and this just further delays our start. It takes us almost two hours to get out of Ulaanbataar. Finally the roads start to open up and the countryside is spectacular. We’re riding along and come across this guy with a couple of huge eagles tethered up, yes freaking eagles! It turns out that training eagles to hunt is a national sport and this guy motions us to pull over and we take some photos holding his eagles. Only in Mongolia!

We enter the park after paying a small fee, it only gets more beautiful!

Passing through small villages with lots of yurts, the nomads idea of a motor home without the motor. After about 60 klicks of incredible views and vistas we arrive at Park headquarters. Being the designated hotel guy I check for rooms. There are only two options; one mid-level looking property and one looks like a palace in the middle of nowhere. Knowing the ways of my frugal but rich guys, I go to check out the mid-level property first, no luck, sold out. I inform the guys and they all look a little concerned. You see on this trip we have all decided that we didn’t want to be tied to an itinerary so we have made no previous reservations. The down side is we pay rack rate and hope for the best!

( If you have quicktime player and want to see a video of a Russian Fountain) click —-> russia

I head over to the Palace and see three New Rolls Royce Phantoms in front! I laugh to myself thinking this is gonna be as my Cousin Bob would say “a little bit spicy”. The place was built for rich Asian tourists to stay and yes it was a “little bit spicy”, 240 US for a double and 280 US for the single. You’d think you get a great room but this was the deluxe room, no view no riverside, you get to face the parking lot! Everybody gets unloaded and we head for dinner. Now, being a 5 star property you would expect 5 Star service, right? Nope! Horrible service by people who could give a shit! You know why? Because they can! Where else you gonna go??

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