Before we get on to the festival, I need to tell you about the gers. We stayed in about 12 different camps, all with shared bathrooms, immaculately clean, meals included and generally very comfortable.
Some had electricity, none have wi-fi, most have beer.
|Most beds are really hard but have great blankets|
|Even the restaurants at the camp were sometimes a ger - check out those gold chairs!|
|You need to duck to get through the door.|
On our last night we stayed at a camp that had hot springs so we booked a massage after a soak in the pools. What we didn’t expect from the mostly pleasant event was a full-on boob massage and some vigorous head rubbing that wasn’t actually nice L Being in higher, mountainous country, it was quite a bit cooler so our guide offered to light our ger stoves. These are used to warm nomad families in temperatures that get as low as -40C. Seemed like a good idea but I swear our ger went from a coolish 17C to a sauna-esque 47C in about 15 minutes!! We had to leave the door open and stay low to the floor to remain in there. I don’t know how they cope with such extremes.
|The frighteningly effective stove.|
We also saw a few inappropriate T-shirt, like a 12 year old girl in a village with ‘Shameless’ emblazoned across her chest. At one of the camps, a shy, bespectacled teenager working there was wearing an oversized black T-shirt that had large white letters that said: CUROSITD [sic] KILLED YOUR VIRGINITY. Say what?? It was just so wrong. She was wearing it again the next day and we hoped to get a photo so our guide approached and explained her T-shirt was kind of funny and could we take a photo? She crossed her arms and said she’d bought it at a market and didn’t know what it said. Wisely, our guide decided not to tell her and nor did we take a photo – but you get the visual.
We didn’t meet many other travellers – most were in their 60s or 70s and from Europe, some were from Asia – most kept to themselves. We did meet a lovely family from Scotland who were taking a break from the trans-Siberian rail trip and we encountered the same posse of bikers from Vietnam at a couple of camps.
The driving can be as long as 8 hours a day, on tracks that can be extremely rough and frankly, the ‘sealed’ roads that can be rougher – but the scenery was spectacular, the sites varied and I don’t get car sick so can read – even if it is a tad bumpy!
Next up; The Naadam Festival