Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ger Camp on the Mongolian Steppe

The Mongolian steppe with our ger camp in the background

On the Mongolian steppe you feel like you can see forever!

We spent a couple of nights out on the steppe in a ger.  Ger are the traditional round tents that Mongolian nomads live in as they herd livestock across the grassland.  Did I mention that there are 41 million head of livestock in Mongolia versus only 3 million people?  The horse-to-human ration is 13 to 1!

Outside our ger
Inside our ger
 It was such a cool experience.  We were up until midnight playing games with sheep anklebones against local Mongolians – very fun, once you get past the animal bones!  We’re hoping to bring some home with us if we can get sheep bones past Russian customs!

Playing with anklebones!

During the day we took long walks, tried our hand at Mongolian archery, and even threw around a baseball and football that one of the guides brought back from the U.S. last summer.  The highlight was a horseback ride from our camp to a Genghis Khan memorial about 5 miles away.  Mongolian horses are half-wild, but mine was particularly crazy, and had to be on a short leash the entire time!  The memorial is only a few years old and is absolutely huge.  We had some great views from the top.

Riding Mongolian horses out on the steppe
In front of the Genghis Khan memorial


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