When we hit a tarred road, we knew we must be somewhere near a small town. Wrong! Many sections of really good quality roads were built as part of Millennium Projects – from nowhere to nowhere. Eventually they will be joined up
This is the neat but dusty town of Naranbulag.
Note the many traditional gers in the ‘backyards’.
(GPS co-ordinates 49º 22’ N, 92º 33’ E).
This ger is in a front yard. The only door always faces south.
Timber planks and mud bricks are the main building materials in this town. In the building closest to the camera, interlaced squared-off logs were used. Mud had been squeezed in between the logs to stop draughts and to retain warmth during the severe winters.
The facing cut from the squared-off logs was used in this instance to create a neat fence. The building is made from mud bricks while the roof is waterproofed with a layer of mud.
Traditional symbolism was neatly applied to many surfaces.
There were solar panels on many buildings and even the odd satellite dish.
Obviously a lot of pride is taken in the appearance of this little town.
A couple of young girls came to check us out… a very happy reaction.
This one… a little perplexed!
And this one… quite mystified.
Even though there was electricity, there was no running water in the town. Water came from a subterranean source. The young boys of the town seemed to have the chore of collecting water for each home. They used these improvised carts to take water home from the well.
A couple of the larger town buildings… again all very neat and tidy.
Tidy though the town was, there was dust everywhere, so it was decided that we would head out of town for a picnic style lunch. But we couldn’t venture too far because our troublesome vehicle was being checked out. It still had a fuel problem.
So we had our lunch on the steppe just a short walk out of the town.
The cooks, having stocked up on supplies, produced our interestingly coloured lunch made up of green lentils, diced beetroot and black rice. It was tasty.
After lunch there was plenty of time to take a panorama of our ‘dining room’.
It was now almost 16.00. Fixing the car was taking much longer than expected, so we decided to push on, sharing the broken vehicle’s passengers between the rest. We gained Trevor.
We drove through some quite amazing country… almost mirage like with a couple of Bactrian camels adding to the scene. They must have been thirsty; humps beginning to fall over.
Again, a panorama captures the vastness of the scene.
The late afternoon light touched the far hills and mountains as we finally arrived at our camping spot. It was a round 17.00. Another late arrival, particularly for the cooks and drivers who, not only had they driven most of the day, but now had to set up camp.
The view from our camp site; scattered scrubby growth, sand dunes and a sinister sky.
The sun was starting to sink but was still strong enough to highlight the dunes.
In the end, we shared our dinner of a chunky soup, pastry and shortbread type of biscuit with a family who lived in a nearby ger. Then, the rest of the group split up and slept in various gers. But I decided that I would rather have my own space in my tent… so the ever obliging Pujee put my tent up for me. It was quite late, about 21.30, when I finally crawled into my warm sleeping bag for a good night’s sleep.
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