Milk and Alcohol
Tsogt Ovoo Travel Blog› entry 21 of 80 › view all entries
May 9th, 2010 – by: Riz7
One of the surprises is the number of places we visit where there is a supermarket. My reading of the guide books tended to imply there are no opportunities to buy anything once you are out of UB but we regularly pass through small towns and Moogii needs to shop there to supplement our food supply with fresh meat and veg.
South of Mandalgovi the country becomes flatter and more desert like and Bayaraa is able to make good time. Lunch is a picnic on a hill in the middle of nowhere, beautiful country but still blowing half a gale. Another hour on and we come across our first herd of camels wandering across the plain in front of us. Though these camels look wild they are all owned by families who let them graze freely. It's a feature of most Mongolian domesticated animals that they are still semi-wild.
We stop and explore a small cave where I am pleased that (a) I brought a head torch and (b) I am wearing rough clothes as it involves some crawling through a narrow passage, which is not everyone's idea of fun.
A further 15km on we reach our overnight stop, another nomad family. Again we are welcomed into the main family ger and are offered tea. This time it is camel milk tea and it is not salty. Now we are further south into the Gobi horses are not so common; this family keeps camels and have over 200. Another use for camel milk is to make a fermented drink. There is a churn of this in the ger that Bayaraa offers around. It tastes like alcoholic yogurt to me not great but not too bad either.
After dinner we walk around near the gers as the sun sets. The family chase in the young camels which are tethered next to the camp. The goats seems to find their own way back into their pen and the adult camels wander back in their own time. Once the camels are back the family release each of the young camels in turn and while they suckle from their mothers on one side they are able to hand milk the camel from the other. The mother doesn't seem to mind though they do tie the camel's hind legs I assume to prevent it running away and giving them a nasty kick.
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