Mongolia - 2013
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Bike view Erdenet Simon Shusheel
Ger family Aaruul Simon Shusheel

These are photos from our Mongolia cycling trip.

We were exploring the region around 200 miles to west of Ulaanbaatar, the capital.

Bike view

Erdenet Erdenet - the second largest city in the country.

It has a population of ~85,000
(by way of comparison, that's smaller than Cambridge, England).

Mongolia has a population of nearly three million. Around a third live in the Ulaanbaator, and around a third are nomadic.

The other million live in small towns - spread over a country the size of western Europe.

There's a great sense of freedom cycling around the steppes.

It's all really open, and with no fences you go wherever you like.

And it's quite hard to get lost or separated.


Ger family A family outside their ger (a Mongolian yurt).

Note the solar panel and TV antenna.

Inside the ger it was all very nice and presentable.
But we made an unscheduled stop at another ger later and it was a different story - dark and dirty and with a bucket of cow-pats inside the entrance (fuel for the stove).

Aaruul - made from dried milk curds, and eaten something like biscuits.

They don't have a very varied diet - traditionally their food comes from their domesticated animals, so they eat a lot of milk products and a lot of mutton.
They even ferment horse's milk to make the national alcoholic drink, airag.

Simon It's a hard and isolated life for the Mongolian nomads - living off the land, in a small tent with winter temperatures dropping as low as -40C.

There have been more frequent severe winters in recent years (put down to climate change), leading to much loss of livestock and forcing people to move to the cities.


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