Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Someone just emailed me about my book, "Travels in Northern Mongolia". You can buy it Here
Have just received word from the estimable Ms. Thanh in France that she will not be coming to Mongolia. Says she can't get plane reservations. So anyhow now comes word that the Dalai Lama will be Mongolia September 5 - 9. I had planned to leave Ulaan Baatar on September 2, the day my 90 day visa expires but now I think I may try to have my visa extended and stay another week. Just after I found out about the Dalai Lama coming here I went shopping at the State Department Store and who should I bump into but a couple I had met last year at the month-long Lam Rim retreat at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu. They had just arrived in Ulaan Baatar yesterday and are planning on staying for the Dalai Lama's visit. Since they came all this way to see the Dalai Lama it seems downright churlish that I, having been here for three months, should not stay a few more days and see him myself. Then I will have to move very quickly in order to be in Novosibirsk, Siberia, on September 8 so that I can begin my long-planned trip to Mt. Belukha in Kazakhstan. From Novosibirsk the plan is to cross the border to Kazakstan (I already got my Kazakhstan visa here in Ulaan Baatar) and then proceed by horses to the base of Mt. Belukha. Here I hope to find the source of the Katun River, which is the ultimate source of the Ob River, one of the ten longest river systems in the world. This is part of my quest to visit the Sources of the longest rivers in northern Asia. All I lack now is a Russian visa and I am working on that.