I am currently in Ulaanbaatar after sleeping some nights in a traditional ger tent on the Mongolian plains. Feels good to be back in civilization (sort of) with an internet connection and a warm shower.
Staying in a traditional tent was an amazing experience though. The circular construction has a contained fire in the middle. We used wood to keep the flames alive, but since there are very few trees around it seems they normally use coal and manure for fuel.
We had about zero degrees in the middle of the night, so it got quite cold after a while as the fire burned out, but I slept quite good despite various animal sounds just outside the tent. During wintertime it can sneak below -40 degrees. Now that’s cold! How do the nomads cope with that?
Maybe they drink a lot of airag to keep warm. This is fermented mare’s milk with 6 % alcohol, not for the faint of heart. I tried some of it which tasted like sour-cream, so I think I’ll stick to the fireplace.
The valley in itself was extremely beautiful, where the few but colorful autumn trees frame the gray imposing rock formations. Here and there are goats climbing the steep hills. A perfect getaway from the smoky and noisy capital.