Buckle in because we’re going on an adventure; come follow along with us on our big move to Mongolia.
Mongolia, Mongolia, Mongolia, how you’ll always own a special place in my heart. We packed up and took to the skies to the beautiful east Asia country where we would end up residing and calling home for the next two years. If you’ve never heard of this historic location before, it’s a landlocked country bordered by China and Russia.
Something captivating to me, roughly in Latin, its name translates to ‘Land of the Mountains,’ and if you read my page often, you’ll know that’s music to my ears.
It didn’t take long for Ernita, the dogs and I to pay a visit to Terelj National Park…
A Land Of Mountains
If you’ve never been to Terelj National Park, firstly, you’re missing out, and secondly, it’s got something for everyone. Its tourist locations offer many restaurants and shops. While still being large enough to accommodate a wide range of animals, a river, natural hot springs, and even a Buddist Monastery.
It’s located just an hour and a half away from Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia’s capital city) – which isn’t a long time to travel to find somewhere so uncrowded, clean, and a welcoming escape. If I was to try and
describe the National Park itself, it is unlike any park I’ve visited throughout my life. Imagine a vast amount of granite, stretching as far as the eye can see, paired with the stunning greenery of nature.
There isn’t much you’ll not find mixed between this mountainous landscape, as I said before. If it’s a selling point to encourage you to visit, something that took me back was the amount of ‘life as usual’ activities to immerse yourself into the culture of the country truly – we even saw some sheep herding while exploring.
So, not long after we landed, the car was packed and away we went. What else would you expect? We are climbers through and through. Don’t worry; we will get to the fun part.
A New Life, A New Home
As much as we wanted to spend our first few weeks exploring, climbing, and getting acquainted with our new home, life admin got in the way. While I got to know my new colleagues at school, we also had to arrange bank accounts, visas, houses and quite honestly just learning our way around the neighborhood.
Once we’d gotten settled, a few of the more adventurous teachers decided to join us on our first trip to Terelj. While they certainly weren’t climbers, I sensed that they wanted to escape the city for a break, if it’s any consolation, in an entire population of 3.3 million people; half of those living in the capital of Ulaanbaatar.
If you’ve had experience living/working in an international school, I think you’ll be more accustomed to this way of life; if you’re thinking about it and have not made your mind up – do it. We can talk about it in more detail in another post.
A thrilling start to the joys of our new home, we wanted to make the most of the exciting adventure that was presented to us. Living somewhere outside the comforts of home is an exhilarating experience; it pushes you into new experiences that you’d never imagined living.
With our first taste of the local culture, food, and bureaucracy – we set out on the road to Terelj.
A Weekend In The Mountains
Since it’s such a large span of area, you’d not think it, but with only two days – we didn’t fit in as much climbing as we’d hoped.
Leaving our newfound friends to explore the area for themselves, Ernita and I set off to locate a well-known cliff, a route that was developed by some visiting climbers from Black Diamond. Again, if you’re an established climber yourself, you might be familiar with Black Diamond. If not, these climbers established a handful of routes, bolted and trad – so we wanted to put them to the test and see if they had the quality they were renowned for; paired with a Nathan Smiths’ Guidebook away, we went to find the bolted slabs.
For all my fellow climbers, if you’ve got questions on recommended routes, locations, or advice for Terelj or Mongolia, then hit me up in the comments section below.
As much as we’d like to spend the whole time climbing, it’s probably good that we immersed ourselves in some of the activities available. If you’re looking for any recommendations, then why not try renting horses? Not to lie, we were taken back by the chilled-out personalities of the locals. Not like signing waivers, questions, and waiting lists like back home… it was simply here’s your horse and how long will you be. It was great.
Looking for more Mongolia advice, tips or recommendations – let us know in the comment section.