Elstei Ger Camp, somewhere in Mongolia
Trip Start Aug 03, 2007
134Trip End Aug 01, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Elstei Ger Tourist Camp
We arrived in time for dinner and met the other guests of the camp, a nice Australian couple now living in London, a well travelled American couple and another Aussi man. We were expecting stodgy mix of mutton and dairy and so were pleasantly surprised by the high quality and tastiness of the food. The Australian's guide, who was fluent in English, told us that the camp could accommodate up to 90 people in summer, which in our opinion would be awful
That night we retired to our ger. All the furniture was a traditional orange colour with ornate patterns painted onto the more visible parts. There were two thin beds alongside the tent walls and a metal stove in the centre for heating. In place of the traditional altar was an orange box and mirror and in front of that was a dining table with low stools. We were given a thermos of hot water (to last our whole stay). Near the entrance to the tent was a box of firewood and a little sink with a metal container holding about 1 litre of water for washing our hands. The ger was pleasantly warm, we were comfortable but while the antibiotics were curing Louise of her bronchitis, Franz was now getting very ill with food poisoning.
In the morning, after a sumptuous breakfast, we bid farewell to the Australian couple and then we went to the corral to see the Mongolian horses. They were small and tough looking, but also a bit thin after the long winter. We were given Western-style saddles with the stirrups were set to an Asian leg. Moogie, our horseman, Baggi, and the two of us rode off one way while the other group took a different trail. We walked and trotted over the barren rolling steppe until we came to a small forest. As we passed through the forest, we came to a strange tree covered in blue silk flags and the horses shied and refused to pass by
Baggi invited us to his ger for afternoon tea. We walked to his ger which was just behind a hill from the tourist camp and consisted of a three ger tents and fences to hold stock. Baggi met us wearing his traditional green wool coat, black boots and cap. We entered his tent and were presented with a large bowl of salty milk tea and a plate of western cookies and lollies (obviously gifts from a previous visit). Moogie and Baggi conversed in Mongolian. Baggi showed us some photos, we handed over the vodka and rice and then departed.
After another tasty dinner and fun evening playing anklebones we headed to our ger. Our fire had been lit and the ger glowed with warmth. We fell asleep to the flickering light of the fire.