Ger-ing it up

Ulaanbaatar Travel Blog

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Ger camp
We head to the ger camp this morning. Along the way we pass some amazing scenery. Rolling hills and plains filled with snow and dirt. Well that doesn't sound particular good, but it was.

On the way to the ger camps, I spot a lone wander walking along the road with his horse and eagle. I don't know what it is. Maybe in my mind its how I romanticised all nomads in the dersert to be like. Just them, nature and a trusty stead. It was one of those kodak travel moments which will be embedded in your memory forever. But to make sure of that. I ask our guide if we can pull over and take a picture. Sure enough she agrees. Its not like we are working off a schedule. Since I can't speak Mongolian, our guide asks the nomad if we could take a picture of him.
Wanderer in the middle of nowhere with a horse and eagle
He obliges but wants us to pay him money for pictures with the eagle on our hands. Hey even a nomad has some business acumen. Not sure if and when I will ever have the opportunity to hold an eagle again, I pay the man. That photo with the eagle on my hand is still one of my favourite photos of the trip. After said photos were taken we said our thanks and goodbyes and were on the road again headed for camp.

Shortly after getting there we are informed that we wouldn't be going horse riding. So we walked around the hills in the snow for about an hour before sitting down for dinner and a movie. The title of the movie is called the Weeping Camel.  I won't spoil it too much in case you want to watch it. But its basically about this white camel who was born and his parents reject him.
Me with an eagle on my hand
Obviously he cries from such heartbreak.

Okay I knew that life at the Ger Camp was going to be slow/boring. But this was ridiculous. Our guide obviously doesn't put too much thought into our travels and how to occupy us. She doesn't even talk to us really. So we pretty much sit around talking amongst ourselves. Besides having horse riding and meeting a traditional nomadic mongolian family tomorrow. We have nothing else to do. Our time in Mongolia is starting to look pretty grim. Nice way to ruin a holiday.

Well all is not lost. At least we have cards, and we play that post dinner and movie.

One thing which I found remarkable about the hospitality at the Ger Camp was the fact that they came in regularly to top up the fire in each tent.
Ger camp again
They would literally come in all hours of the night to make sure you are warm enough. It's actually quite scary if you think about it. Besides the one time they woke me when I was in half slumber at about 2am, I was asleep and didn't hear them come in for the rest of the night. But they did as my fire was still going strong in the morning. Having grown up locking doors when you go to sleep. Its quite strange to let someone access to your private/personal space without being aware when they come in. I wouldn't go as far as saying I felt violated, but its not far off. Again like the cabins in the trains. They made the air temperatures in the tents far too hot. I had to open the doors of the tents to cool the room down ever so often for them to come in again to top up the fire. It's a nice gesture though. That being said I did try to do it a couple of times when I was feeling a tad cold and put far too many blocks of wood in the fire, to make the room into a furnace. So I felt more comfortable leaving the warming duties in the hands of the fire experts.
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Ger camp
Ger camp
Wanderer in the middle of nowhere …
Wanderer in the middle of nowhere…
Me with an eagle on my hand
Me with an eagle on my hand
Ger camp again
Ger camp again
Inside the tents. Had 3 beds to my…
Inside the tents. Had 3 beds to m…
The ger camp shot from far away.
The ger camp shot from far away.
Sunset
Sunset
Ulaanbaatar
photo by: Biedjee