Brrr! Our last night camping was also the coldest one we’ve experienced so far. Every night we’ve been able to stay in either a ger campground, or in our tents near a river. We’ve always had plenty of firewood laying around to easily keep ourselves and our food nice an hot. Tonight we had to camp on the open steppe with no trees or wood anywhere to be found. Luckily, it being Mongolia, there is always plenty of alternative fuel everywhere, if you just look for a few minutes. As soon as we’d set up our tents, Oogi taught us the basics of finding good yak dung. It had to be dry, easily crumbled and the older the better. It didn’t take long at all before we had collected a nice sized pile of the stuff. While it lit and burned, I can’t say much for the amount of heat that it put out. I think we were all glad that we only had to deal with one night of this!
The next day on our way back to UB, we passed a small car that was being driven by some sort of police official. He didn’t like being passed, and waved us over to the side of the road. When he got to the driver’s side window, immediately Oogi and the cop started nearly screaming at each other. Oogi stepped on the gas, leaving the cop to hang on to the outside of the van for a few meters before he decided to let go. He ran back to his car which was filled with his family and started chasing us. We outran him after a while, but we spent a good bit of the way back practicing the Mongolian phrase for “I want to talk to my embassy!”
Finally we arrived back home, tired and smelly but really happy with the outcome. It’d been a great trip, and I was going to be sad to have to return to work the next day.