Author: admin
April 13, 2015


Mongolian horseScottish-born and raised Alison Betts is senior lecturer in West Asian archeology at the University of Sydney. She has worked on field projects in Syria and Jordan, specialising in prehistory and the archeology of nomadic pastoralists. Her interests include stone tools, rock art and graffiti, nomadic peoples and ethno-archeology. For the past decade, she has worked as a tour guide with Odyssey Travel.
A fantastic adventure or eco-adventure trip?

By far the best off-the-beaten-track trip I took was to the Mongolian Altai last year. After an invitation to visit a colleague on an expedition there fell through, I decided to go on my own anyway. I googled Mongolia and came up with a tour group that responded promptly and made up a special itinerary exactly covering my rather peculiar requests to visit the Mongolian Altai and look at archeological sites, on horseback if necessary. They asked me to pay in full up front to a bank account in New York, which involved a certain amount of faith and optimism, so that when I flew into Ulan Bator I was not really sure if I would find anyone waiting for me. I was wrong to worry, I had the best tour of my life. I had a charming young English-speaking guide all to myself. We rode for miles across the high mountains under snowy peaks. We saw wild swans, cranes dancing on the steppe and visited remote nomadic sites and cliffs covered in rock art. We ended up in a faraway valley camping below the snowline, guests of the Kazakh eagle hunters who live in the high Altai all year round. They ride out in winter with their birds after wolves. They allowed me to hold one of the eagles, the best experience yet. More: Discover Mongolia Travel;