Hardly any wind today, just sun and heat. It is pretty calm in the camp and our only tourist here is Josh, the wanderer, whose aim is to to do a four week-long solo trek. Now he has bought his own horse, and all equipment needed and is trying to learn how to saddle and ride a horse. He wants to head off on his solo trek tomorrow. A group with two Swedes, one Australian and one Canadian came back from a five day trek. They thought it was wonderful.
I have got company in my ger – a little marmot that thinks that there might be some food here, and a bird that sits at the door step and is curious about what is going on in.
No tourists today means no riding. Instead I have been teaching English, cleaned up my ger because the floor was covered with black sand, and watched Gaana and Tonga, our cook, cutting up the two goats that had been slaughtered. Gaana has been working for hours now cutting the goat into smaller pieces. It is really hard work and every little piece of the goats is used. The rips and other bones are boiled, while the more meaty parts are wrapped up in small packages, frozen and to be used for the next meals.
Yesterday evening we walked up the mountain, where there is some coverage to use the mobile phone. On the way back we passed a small birch forest that clinches to the side of the mountains where it is somewhat wetter. The trees are tiny, probably the size of the birch trees on Iceland. A large bird had built a huge nest in one of the trees and got really upset when we came closer. Too bad I can’t say what kind of bird it was, a hawk or an eagle? Why did I not bring a book about birds with me? And why did I forget my binoculars? I seem to have thought about almost everything (baby wipes, torch, sun cream, medicine), but I did not think about a bird book or about bringing binoculars. It would also have been good to have a book about Mongolia’s flowers, and it would have been even better had I read up about Mongolia’s geology. Let’s hope that I can catch up when I visit the museum in UB next week.
Yesterday I went down to the well, from where we get water. It has to be dragged up to the gers in large plastic cans, and the more people who are here, the more water is used. Drinking water comes in large plastic bottles from UB and is mainly for tourists, while the Mongolians use the water from the well for cooking, washing dishes, drinking, and cleaning. It probably is safe to drink the water, but I don’t dare to take a chance (although I did yesterday when we visited another ger). There is also a washing machine down at the well. It gets electricity from a generator, but has to be filled by hand with water. The dirty clothes turn around in the water until they are less dirty and are then thrown in a tumbler to squeeze the water out and finally put on the ground to dry. Gaana does all this work, and she basically works from morning to evening without resting.