• City: Kanpur

    The previous day we had camped in the middle of nowhere, some 60km before Shine Ider. It was time to break camp and ride on…

    It was pretty cold at night and I woke up frozen, it was only after the sun shone with some strength, that my tent inside was warm enough for me to get some sleep. We finally got out of our tents, packed and made our way once again in the direction of Shine Ider. After having crossed a couple of passes, we saw the third, which looked monstrous in comparison to the previous two! Just Looking at it from a distance tired me out!

    On our right we saw a lake Zuun Nuur. Nuur means lake in Mongolian. We stood at the fork with 25 km to go to Shine Ider contemplating which direction to take. If we headed to Shine Ider, we would have to climb the steep slope, if we went to the lake and didn’t find accommodation there, then we would be badly stuck as we wouldn’t have had any energy to return and make that climb. After standing there for a good 15 minutes we decided to go towards Zuun Nuur and try our luck with the camp there!

    On our way to the lake an old man on an even older looking motorcycle stopped and told us that there was indeed a campsite near the lake. Unfortunately the campsite was on the other side of the lake. So more pedalling! He also told us that there was another route towards Shine Ider from the lake itself, so we wouldn’t have to backtrack the next day.

    We reached the lake shore and chucked our bikes and just sat and enjoyed the beauty and peace of the area. One shepherd came there on horseback and pointed out the Ger camp on the other side of the lake. He had his monocular with him, which he used to keep an eye on his herd, we used that to see the camp on the other side. As we sat with the shepherd a SUV rolled up with a bunch of Italian tourists who didn’t speak English. Fortunately they had a guide with them who did speak English and she was able to give us precise information.

    Since that was not a very touristy lake, the camp was relatively cheap, even though it was bang on the lake shore, thus giving us a wonderful view. We also got a hot shower, clean toilets and good food, which was welcome after the previous night of camping in the open. There were a bunch of children who really took to Prakash and stuck to him. They did eventually run off, but returned with a bowl full of berries, which were not as sour as what we had tasted earlier, though it was the same in appearance.

    Three van full of tourists reached there who were loud, but fortunately didn’t disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the place. Prakash had an interesting conversation with the local guide who was accompanying the Italians, she had travelled a bit in the world and therefore could give us some interesting insights into the local culture and traditions of Mongolia. Even though I was standing quite far away from the point of conversation, I could hear them clearly. Indians are loud and Italians are not far behind apparently!