August 15: Amarbayasgalant Khiid (Monastery)

August 15: Amarbayasgalant Khiid (Monastery) Heading east, near Bulgan, we got lost and stuck in the mud looking for more deer stones (some men with a tractor pulled us out), but also passed through an "enchanted forest" with many wildflowers and people scything and making fragrant haystacks.

We had lunch in the city Erdenet, famous for its copper mines and where a Russian presence is still obvious. We then got on a paved road (!) to Darkhan.

In the countryside, we stopped to watch a sheep-skinning and spent a little time with the family. We were treated not only to the usual airag (fermented mare's milk) and other "white food" of the Mongolian summer, but also vodka dispensed from an old, plastic motor oil container.

Approaching Darkhan, we detoured for the large and ornate Amarbayasgalant Monastery. At the monastery, which was magnificent, Dana, Ursie, and Mike were once again reborn. This was extra special for Dana, as it was his actual birthday.

We reached Darkhan and Ursie's apartment that night.