The skies are almost always blue, the landscape is breathtaking & the wilderness unspoilt – Mongolia is a walker’s paradise & a perfect backdrop for seriously fun & adventurous creative exploration & discovery. 1-16 JULY 2018
Join Dr Erika Jacobson for an experience of a lifetime during our 14-day Walking & Creativity Expedition and be led through a powerful creative process while you reconnect with nature & are inspired by the rugged & natural beauty of the Tavan Bogd National Park in Mongolia’s north west.
DAY 1 – ULAAN BAATAR BAYANGOL HOTEL
On arrival you will be met by your guide & transferred to a hotel in the city’s center. Time permitting you may consider visiting the National Museum or Gandan Monastery for ataste of Mongolian history & tradition. A welcome dinner with your fellow explorers
will be followed with introductory activities & presentation of the various creative tools, intentions & possibilities for the following 14 days.
DAY 2 – OLGII EAGLE NEST HOTEL
Early pick up & airport transfer for a 3 hour flight to Olgii where the majority of the population is Kazakh – Turkic, a nomadic people whose territory stretches across the steppes of Kazakhstan to the Caspian Sea & the Volga River. Exploration of your creative aspirations & the creative process. Further connect with your group.
DAY 3 – FELTING WORKSHOP – OLGII EAGLE NEST HOTEL
Spend the day immersed in traditional Kazakh artistry. Learn & be guided in creating 3 separate felt pieces such as a cushion cover, a scarf & oven mittens using traditional felting techniques and local wool. Our Kazakh instructor is an artist & scholar whose
knowledge of embroidery and felting tradition will enrich our practical creative activity.
DAY 4 – TRAVEL TO KHOTON & KHURGAN LAKES CAMPING
We drive across mountainous desert and upstream along the Khovd river whose source lies in the glaciers of the Altai mountains. Due to the glacial sediments the color of the water is milky white. Enjoy picturesque views of riverbanks dotted with felt covered yurts of herding people, their sheep and goat herds and also get a glimpse of their daily chores. We begin our creative journey through some playful & fun activities to generate trust & sense safety in our shared adventure.
DAY 5 – TREK TO ARAL TOLGOY HILL (15KM) CAMPING
Today we trek along the lakeside to its northern edge. This is an acclimation day with an overall easy terrain and gentle angles although some streams and bogs need to be negotiated. In a leisurely way watch scenes of nomadic life, occasionally meet with local herders and enjoy the pristine wilderness. Our support team drives ahead to prepare meals and eventually the overnight camp. This is also our rendezvous with Tuvan people who arrive in the evening with their pack camels to accompany us during further trekking days. Touch, textures, colours, sounds, smells & general physical sensations – create sculpture out of natural objects collected throughout the day.
DAY 6 – TREK TO KHAR SALAA VALLEY (50KM) CAMPING
Trek along the White Water river, a narrow valley with lush vegetation and tree growth. Sided by high rocky ridges, it gradually ascends towards snow-capped peaks of high Altai. Looking and observing through the use of photographs is big part of today’s creative focus – how do you experience your surroundings? What do you notice?
DAY 7 – TREK TO KHAR SALAA VALLEY (50KM CONT.) CAMPING
We walk on single trails gaining altitude and watch the swift river winding below at the valley floor; its color has greenish tint because of the glacial silt. Camping equipment, personal luggage and food is transported by 2 humped Bactrian camels. What’s your story? Group activity using the 8-point arch as a framework – finding metaphors throughout our hike.
DAY 8 – TREK TO KHAR SALAA VALLEY (50KM CONT.) CAMPING
The area is inhabited by wild mountain goats (Capra Sibirica), wolves and bears but of course spotting this wildlife is not easy. You can however, see marmots and other smaller rodents. Having made it across a mountain pass at 3400m, we descend to Black Creek, the summer pastures of our Tuvan guides. Working with rhythm and sounds to express a sense of accomplishment and ability.
DAY 9 – TREK TO TSAGAAN GOL RIVER VALLEY (16KM) CAMPING
We then hike to Mt. Shiveet to see ancient petroglyphs carved by long gone residents of the Altai region. Continue to the edge of a deep V-shaped valley at the bottom of which rumbles the torrential Tsagaan Gol river full of glacial silt. Beyond the valley in the far distance you will get a glimpse of snow-clad peaks of Tavan Bogd National park. A steep descent to the riverside and arrive to our campsite beside the rumbling river. Enjoy a well-earned rest and socialize with other travelers who might be camping at the designated camp ground. Pair theatre-exercises to interpret the petroglyphs & then a rest – do what you feel like!
DAY 10 – TREK TO TAVAN BOGD BASE CAMP (15KM) CAMPING
Trek for 15km to Tavan Bogd peaks base camp (BC). 2 thirds of the way is a gradual but continuous ascent across high mountain terrain with some marshes and a couple of streams to cross. Halfway through the route magnificent views of snow-capped peaks and vast glaciers will come into your sight. Our camp site at just over 3000 mts with impressive views of Mongolia’s highest peaks and largest glaciers. What does the terrain towards your biggest creative dream look like? Today we collectively explore the trajectory towards your creative goals.
DAY 11 – CLIMB TO 4051M MALCHIN PEAK (15KM) CAMPING
Today’s goal is to climb one of the lower and easier peaks of the area. Although non-technical a return trip requires 7-9 hours depending on trekkers’ fitness and weather conditions. Although entirely on scree the trail is well established and marked requiring just trekking poles. Once at the top enjoy spectacular bird eye views of glaciers, snow-capped peaks and the Russian territory. In the evening we begin a more intensive use of aesthetic exercises to examine more deeply our creative process & obstacles to our creative expression.
DAY 12 – TREK OUT TO HIGHER GATE OF TAVAN BOGD NP – OIGOR RIVER VALLEY (15KM) CAMPING
We head back to Olgii arriving by lunch time. En-route we stop to visit a local Kazakh family and see their golden eagles which are kept for hunting purposes. In Olgiy we settle in a seasonal hotel comprised of traditional felt covered tents known as gers or yurts. Continue from yesterday with aesthetic exercises and collective ideas.
DAY 13 – RETURN TO OLGII TOWN ALTAI PEAKS GER CAMP
Transfer to airport and fly back to UB. Upon arrival transfer to and settle in your hotel. You may enjoy the rest of the day shopping and exploring the capital. In the evening we all gather for a farewell dinner. Planning for a sustained practice – outline & plan your next 30 days.
DAY 14 – RETURN FLIGHT TO ULAAN BAATAR BAYANGOL HOTEL
Transfer to airport and fly back to UB. Upon arrival transfer to and settle in your hotel. You may enjoy the rest of the day shopping and exploring the capital. In the evening we celebrate over dinner.
DAY 15 – DEPARTURE TRANSFER transfer for your return home
$ 4,880 AUD PP
12-day creativity workshops & tuition with Dr Erika Jacobson (a more detailed outline
of the creativity workshops will be provided on booking)
All workshop materials
2 nights at the 4-star Bayangol Hotel in UB (twin-share)
2 nights in Eagle Nest Hotel in Olgiy (twin-share)
1 night in Altai Peaks Ger Camp (2-3pax in a ger)
9 tented nights (twin-share)
Camping & cooking equipment including mess tent, shower and toilet
All indicated meals & drinking water
Visits, National Park and border area permit fees
Overland transport: Russian 4*4 van(s) including gasoline
English speaking trekking guide
Pack camels and camel tenders
Satellite phone for emergencies
Flights to and from Mongolia
Excess baggage fee on local flights
Meals not indicated