14-May-2004 -- Mongolia still offers rich pickings for the CP hunter – this point is just 2km from the main road between the two largest cities of Mongolia - Ulaanbaatar (UB) and Darkhan. We are doing our best to correct this earlier indifference to such worthy locations! Our group was returning to UB after a week travelling to farms in the northern central region. We had already visited 3 CPs on our way round – the last being 50°N 105°E. We turned off the main road onto a track and after 1 km our driver had his excuse to leave the road as it no longer pointed directly at the CP. Two small valleys had to be negotiated but otherwise a very straightforward visit!
Near the CP Dorjbat found an old ger stove. These are cast iron open grates that were used in all gers for hundreds of years until the 1960s. They were replaced by closed stoves with chimney pipes. The fire is in the centre of the ger (the traditional round tents known as yurts in Russia) and is used for heating and cooking. The main source of fuel is animal dung and with these open grates the gers soon became blackened with smoke on the inside. When entering a ger in the winter from the cold clear outside air and meeting the hot smoky atmosphere inside must have been quite an experience. The newer stoves greatly reduce the smokiness and allow some control over the rate of burning.
More can be seen about life in gers on Mongolian web sites such as: http://www.mongoliatourism.gov.mn/history.htm#5.
Four successful first visits in one week - we are feeling qute pleased with ourselves!