Morons in Moron

Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
Trip End Feb 28, 2013

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Where I stayed
Baigal Guesthouse

Flag of Mongolia  , Hovsgol,
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moron (psychology), term for a person with a mental age between 8 and 12, and a common insult for a person considered stupid (or just a generic insult)

Moron (bacteriophage), an extra gene in prophage genomes that do not have a phage function in the lysogenic cycle

Moron (Book of Mormon), a character and a location in the Book of Mormon

Moron (also spelled Murun), is the administrative center of Khovsgol Aimag (province) in northern Mongolia (population 36,000)

North and West Mongolia Tour: Day 3 of 35
Drove west for 225km - Hutag River to Moron City

During a middle-of-the-night potty-run, Michelle discovered the sky lit up by millions of stars. What a sight! It is amazing what clean air, the absence of city lights, and no moon reveals. Michelle judged the night temperature to be around 10C.

Around 7am, we stood outside our ger and watched flocks of cranes and swans flying over honking loudly before landing in the river. The sky was blue and air was fresh....a(nother) beautiful day.
The fun loving Italian group was ready to leave when we were. Michelle noticed a large "bouquet" of herbs next to their van and asked about them. Edwardo said it was marijuana. It grows wild next to the trails and all over these valleys. It is a very mild variety, he said. No wonder all those cows are so happy here. He handed Michelle a small gift of buds. It still needs to dry 2 or 3 days before it is ready to smoke, he advised. We said our goodbyes to that group and got on our way too.

Again, we drove through gorgeous lush scenery with patches of yellow, blue and violet wildflowers. Herds of goats, sheep and yaks dotted the hillsides. And always the wonderful gers, spaced miles apart looking like little white round spaceships in the distance. We spotted several huge eagles right next to the "road". 

By 10 am, the temperature heated up. We used empty plastic water bottles to prop open the flip windows of the minivan. The breeze kept the temperature bearable. It was a trade-off between keeping the road dust out or letting the cooling winds in. Spirits were still mostly up. Pancho continued to drop ballads on us in Italian, Chinese, Korean, English and Spanish. Pancho and Matt had a long conversation in Chinese. Matt said Pancho's Chinese is much better than his. This guy knows his languages! Pancho is generally cheerful but we have noticed that he did not have treats to share. Everyone else is good about breaking out cookies or candies to share with the crew. But not Pancho. It seems odd because he seems to enjoy everything offered by the others.

Then, Chimgee received THE call from the Khongor office. We could tell by the shocked look on her face that she had just been told she was being replaced. She spoke to Sereg in Mongolian. We knew he did not like what he heard. His driving became more aggressive for the rest of the day. Tears rolled down Chimgee's face. We felt like shit but sure we did what needed to be done.  It was an hour later before Chimgee was able to tell us that she had chosen to return to UB and we would be getting a different guide. We all felt bad and knew it couldn't be helped.

At around 4:30, we arrived at Baigal Guesthouse in Moron. Mrs. Baigal and her niece speak English very well and they offered any help we may need. We took them up on the offer and asked them to expedite border permits for us. Permits are required for any tourist who plans to travel even close to the Russian boarder. We planned to get ours in the morning. It was nice to get that out of the way sooner so we can get an earlier start in the morning.

The Baigal's have a simple wooden house with 3 guest-gers, a chicken coop, 2 outhouses and a small place to shower, all behind wooden fence, like most residences in town. We all were looking forward to the shower and were a bit disappointed when only 5 open holes in the shower head allowed a mere trickle of water to come through. was warm and we did manage to get a lot cleaner than when we arrived.

Alex, Matt and Sophie were reconsidering their trip plan. Originally, from Moron, we had planned to stop in Khatgal (tomorrow) to help the kids look for and arrange camping gear, guide and horses and then start their 3 day horse trek from there. Now they toyed with the idea to have us leave them in Moron from where they would continue by bus. After talking to Mrs. Baigal, they found out that bus tickets would be 20000 Tugriks and Khovskol park entry fee another 3000 T. And since we shared the tour costs with 6 people, individual cost was only $36 per person per day if they continued with the tour. That includes food and accommodation and transportation and park entry fees. Plus they would not be able to go 20km out of the way to see the Deer Stones (on our schedule for the morning). So it was firm, they would stay on one more day.

We finished the card game we had started the night before. Matt cleaned our clocks! Who said that guy didn't know how to play?
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mun2 on

Hi Michelle! I searched "Moron" in Travelpod and got to your blog... we're currently staying at the Baigal Guesthouse here in Moron and also stayed at the same guesthouse you guys stayed in Tsaaganuur when we went to see the Tsatan families... very cool blogs and awesome adventures you guys are having!!!

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