these are some images i thought would give you an overall impression of the country. during my trip i stayed in a small tent called a gur (pronounced “geer”). they were very comfortable and when it turned cold (it was very cold one week) we would light a small stove in the middle of the tent (that and very heavy blankets). the gurs can be moved and taken down in less than an hour. the mongolian people who live in the valleys are nomadic and may move from 2 to 4 times a year along with their flocks. their diet consists mainly of meat, milk products and bread.
the gur is made of a light wooden frame structure, an inner cover cloth, a very thick felt insulating cover (about 1″ thick) and two outer canvas covers that were waterproof. In summer, they don’t have the thick felt cloth so you can see the light come through the walls.
i arrived in time for the yearly nadaam festival and opening ceremonies. an important part of the festival is horse racing. only boys between the ages of 5 and 13 participate in these races. we were still in the outskirts of ulaanbatar when we came upon a local nadaam horse race and stopped to watch the boys begin the race. later on, we went to the big race just outside of the capital on the race track. on the race groundsshe kept admiring her new pink shoes!
during the opening ceremonies a quick brush after a haircut a typical town with multi-coloured roofs. since there was no phone reception in the valleys our driver would whip out his phone and call home whenever we came close to a town. a luxury breakfast with vegetables. there are very few roads in the mongolian outback and the few that there are are in terrible condition. that is why you almost always see a track like this next to the road. this is the main highway across the country. when it rained it was slow going and very bumpy. the trucks we travelled in were made in russia and were affectionally called “loaves of bread” because of their shape. most stores inventory consisted of 2/3 dried goods and 1/3 vodka and other spirits.