2008 Mongolia Total Solar Eclipse
Mongolia | July 26 - August 4, 2008
Where the Sun once stood, there is a black disk in the sky, outlined by the soft pearly white glow of the corona, about the brightness of a Full Moon. Small but vibrant reddish features stand at the rim of the Moon’s disk, contrasting vividly with the white of the corona and the black where the Sun is hidden.
July 26, 2008
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar (UB), the capitol of Mongolia. Local guides and drivers will meet the group at the airport as we clear customs and immigration. Transfer to hotel. Time permitting, our guides will take us on a short city tour. Welcome dinner. Overnight at hotel.
July 27, 2008
Full Day Ulaanbaatar
Founded in 1639, Ulaanbaatar, then Urga, was originally located at the site of the Buddhist monastery of Da Khuree, around 400 km from the present Ulaanbaator in Arhangay Province. It was moved often to various places along the Selenga, Orhon and Tuul rivers until reaching its present location in the late 18th century. Full day of guided sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar. Folklore performance. Overnight at hotel.
July 28, 2008
Drive to Khogno Khan Mountain
Drive to Khogno Khan Mountain through classic steppe country visiting nomadic families along the way. This is a picturesque area with steppes, mountains, forests and mineral water sources. In addition, ruins of 19th Century temples and monasteries are found in the Khogno Khaan Uul. Overnight in a Ger Camp.
July 29, 2008
Drive to Kharkhorin
Drive to Kharkhorin, the ancient capitol of the Mongol Empire. Presently, there are efforts to reestablish Kharkhorin as the capitol. Visit Erdene Zuu Monastery. Erdene Zuu (translated: “hundred treasures”) was founded in 1586, as the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. In its most glorious days it housed more than 1000 monks. Overnight in a Ger camp.
July 30, 2008
Fly from Kharhorin to Olgii
Charter flight from Kharhorin to Olgii in Western Mongolia. Olgii is one of the most interesting places to visit in Mongolia. Nearby Altai Tavan Bogd mountain is the highest point in Mongolia at 4374m above sea level. Populated by Khazakh eagle hunting families, the Olgii region is of great interest. Transfer to Eclipse Ger Camp.
July 31, 2008
Travel to eclipse site
On the way to the solar eclipse viewing site, visit nomadic herders and eagle hunter’s families. Overnight in a Ger camp.
August 1, 2008
Totality! Where the Sun once stood, there is a black disk in the sky, outlined by the soft pearly white glow of the corona, about the brightness of a Full Moon. Small but vibrant reddish features stand at the rim of the Moon’s disk, contrasting vividly with the white of the corona and the black where the Sun is hidden. These are the prominences, giant clouds of hot gas in the Sun’s lower atmosphere. They are always a surprise, each unique in shape and size, different yesterday and tomorrow from what they are at this special moment.
You are standing in the shadow of the Moon. (- adapted from Totality: Eclipses of the Sun)
Observe the Eclipse. Transfer to Ulgii. Overnight in a Ger camp.
August 2, 2008
Fly to Ulaanbaatar via Murun
Chartered flight to UB via Murun, the capital of Khovsgol province. Those who’re doing the side trip in the Khovsgol National Park will stay in Khovsgol for the extension. Overnight at hotel.
August 3, 2008
A day at Lake Khovsgol. Lake Khovsgol and the Siberian taiga (“taiga” is the Russian word for forest and is the largest biome in the world) in Khovsgol have become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mongolia. Lake Khovsgol is 136km long, 36km wide, 262m deep, and is located at an altitude of 1645m above sea level. It is the second largest fresh water lake in Central Asia and holds 2% of the world’s fresh water resource. It is inhabited by nine species of fish – including the Siberian grayling and lenok. Taiga fauna and flora and taiga forest dwellers, the Tsaatan, who practice reindeer breeding, are the main attractions. Hike along the shore of the lake. Horseback riding for a couple of hours is optional. Overnight in a Ger camp.
August 4, 2008
Return to Ulaanbaatar
Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Ulaanbaatar. Farewell dinner. Overnight at hotel.
August 5, 2008
Airport transfer for international flight departure. Depart.