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The True Story of the Weeping Camel

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 6 people
Destination(s): Mongolia  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Film/Film History  
Season: February - March
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1398 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1998 US Dollar (USD)

Springtime in the Gobi Desert, South Mongolia. A family of nomadic shepherds assists the births of their camel herd. One of the camels has an excruciatingly difficult delivery but, with help from the family, out comes a rare white calf. Despite the efforts of the shepherds, the mother rejects the newborn, refusing it her milk and her love. When any hope for the little one seems to have vanished, the nomads send their two young boys on a journey through the desert, to a small village town in search of a musician who is their only hope for saving the calf's life.

Have you ever seen "The Story of the Weeping Camel" or heard of it? It is an enchanting film that follows adventures of herders in Mongolia's Gobi desert who face a crisis when the mother camel rejects her newborn calf. Shot by a Mongolian and an Italian and nominated for Oscar for Best Documentary Feature the film has brought unique traditions of Mongolia's nomads to the world audience. We invite you to experience this unique combination of reality, drama and magic and a deep insight into a different way of life and the universal terrain of the heart on our new project named "The True Story of the Weeping Camel".

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to Ulan Bator, guided city tour. Arrival to Ulan Bator, Mongolia's sprawling capital that houses over a million inhabitants. In February and March temperatures will still be well below zero and the city gives a distinct feeling of resistance and survival against the harsh climate of Central Asia. Nevertheless, atmosphere of vibrant changes and springing towards modernization is dominating.

Transfer to a 4 star hotel in central city. First in the program is a guided city tour around its highlights: the Gandan - city's main Buddhist temple with an 80 feet statue of Avaloketeshvara, the Buddha of compassion, the museum of National History with its collection of traditional costumes. A show of unique throat singing and contortion will then be followed by a welcome dinner. Includes: (D).

Day 2: Flight to Gobi desert and travel to herders' camp. Morning transfer for a 1.5 hour flight to Gobi Desert. Your guide and translator will accompany you on board. Gobi in winter is a particularly pretty but rough place. Its vast plains/spaces are pleasantly warm during daytime when it is still. But with a wind picking up temperatures plummet to freezing levels. Upon landing we drive to a camel herders' camp in the middle of nowhere. A felt covered traditional tent/yurt will be your accommodation for the next few days.

Your first question would certainly be: "And where is the poor baby camel?" By nature camels happen to reject their babies quite often due to various reasons so you would definitely see a poor youngster tethered nearby grieving for his mother. Traditional lunch will be offered to those curious; a more common to your taste meal will also be available. We explore the surroundings and learn about the living and survival in the desert. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 3: Camel journey to fetch a musician. In the Gobi there are no other means of effective communication but to physically travel if distances allow. Today you will be assigned a role of a messenger to fetch a fiddler from a village town in a day's travel distance from the camp. A camel will be selected for you and comprehensive riding instructions given. You will ride across empty spaces heading towards distant mountain ranges. The oddly clear air shimmers with thousands of minute particles of frost. Tonight we will spend the only overnight of your lifetime in a winter desert. A warm tent will be set up during the night and a simple but nutritious dinner served. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 4: Meet the musician and overnight in the village. Early in the morning we ride for another hour to reach the village. Upon arrival we meet the fiddler in his home. A blue silken scarf, known as 'khadag' will be delivered to him together with the message. It symbolizes the clarity of your intentions and deep respect. The remaining day we leisurely stroll around the village: possibly visit the local market, school etc. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 5: Return motorbike ride to the camp and the re-adoption ceremony. After some rest and lunch together with the fiddler we travel back to the camp on Russian motorbikes or sidecars that serve as taxis among villagers. This will be another unique experience of your lifetime. Local riders will safely deliver you to the herders' camp.

On arrival we take some tea and everybody gathers near the mother camel and her baby to witness a touching scene. The fiddler plays a sad melody to the mother camel persuading her to re-adopt the poor baby. The final is classical: the mother camel cries with real tears and lets the baby drink her nutritional milk. We all gather to celebrate the happy end of our story of the weeping camel. Overnight in yurts. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 6: Return flight to Ulan Bator. After breakfast we say goodbye to the hosts and drive to the Gobi airstrip in an hour's driving distance. On return to Ulan Bator transfer to your hotel. Optional shopping for souvenirs and gifts. The guide will accompany you and offer his recommendation and assistance. In the evening we all gather for a farewell dinner. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 7: Departure transfer. This morning you will be transferred for your journey home. Includes: (B).

Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price per person:
- 2 pax: 1998 USD
- 3-4 pax: 1698 USD
- 5-6 pax: 1398 USD
- Hotel single room extra: 60 USD.

Price Includes:
- All accommodation (twin shared)
- Transfers including arrival & departure
- Internal flights
- Meals
- Visits & national park fees
- Camping equipment
- English speaking guide
- Expedition cook
- Local support.

Price Excludes:
- Travel insurance
- Excess luggage fees on internal flights
- Meals not indicated
- Sleeping bags and pads
- Drinks
- Gratuities.