We spent 10 days camping with the horses in western Mongolia with a couple of days in Bayan-Ulgii and Ulanbataar. I have so many amazing memories of this trip.
Tulga, our guide, and our support crew were outstanding and we always felt very safe and well looked after. Our cook was very good. I became especially fond of Tulga and Bolat (our horseman) Tulga is friendly and funny, and Bolat was shy, but oh so cheeky once I got to know him!
I love the ethos of nomadic trails and how they support local families. Itreally adds to the experience. Especially as the horses and horseman were locally sourced.
We had two novice riders, with myself and another being experienced riders. Our horses were supplied by the first family we met in the Bayan-Ulgii countryside. They were exceptionally well cared for and very well behaved. These mongol horses are incredible and temperaments outstanding. They were very well picked in nature for our traveling members.
I nicknamed my horse Constable Care (Aussie joke) and he definitely lived up to his name. He was very careful and did a great job looking after me. He was so tolerant of me plaiting him up like a show pony, and not a bite or kick in him. The support crew played a joke and did his mane up in the traditional manner the next day we rode out!
My favourite memory of Constable Care was on our last day with the horses. Our novice riders walked behind with Bolat, while Tulga, myself and our other experienced rider galloped back to our first family. After riding to our slowest members, it was great to stretch our legs. Constable Care was amazingly fast.
What a way for a character building adventure! We went after peak tourist season, so the weather was a little more unpredictable, but still quite tolerable. So many fond memories, from 17 sleeping in a family Ger, tasting mares milk in the street of Bayan-ulgii, admiring Bronze Age rock art, watching a late season small town nadaam festival, our horseman singing for us, ice cream and beer on a dry day, museums, haggling for art in chiggis khan square and shopping in UB. All in the increiable landscape of Mongolia and the Altai mountains.
My advice to you? Keep a journal!!
My wind horse was definitely reinvigorated and Mongolia is calling to me. When the time is right I will be contacting Tulga and Nomadic Trails again.