September 7 GER HOPPING

We have now departed on a trip into the Gobi Desert, travelling in an old Russian minivan. Our travelling mates are Francesca and JeanLuca from Italy and Daniel from England. Jackie is our ever-so-bold driver in this very diverse country. The van is old, however a 2000 model, but comfy. As we leave UlaanBaatar, the roads become progressively worse to really bad. Lunch was at a Ger restaurant. A Ger is what we call a Yurt in North America and most Mongolians live in Gers outside of the cities. We were served a salty milk tea – not so good and rice with mutton and veg. The squat toilet at this place, you could fall into and never be found again – it was that big!!!

The landscape is amazing with herd after herd of sheep, goats, horses and Bactrian camels (2 humps). Driving is very slow due to the awful road conditions and the animals littering the highways. Our first night at our first Ger was amazing – it was out in the middle of nowhere – there were 6 beds around the inside perimeter and a stove in the middle that the woman filled with dried camel dung for heat. The inside walls are covered with beautiful wall hangings and the doorway is very short for us tall Westerners. The lady served us soup with veg and mutton and bread – pretty good, and not as bad as we had read about in travel books. We had our own sleeping bags and she provided us with big blankets to keep us warm as there was frost on the ground.