Following a day of sightseeing in Ulanbataar (which is all you really need to get a general feel for the place) and an overnight stay in the comedy hotel, we took a 50km bus trip into the Outer Mongolian countryside to stay at the Terelj National Park Reserve.
The scenery was spectacular and for miles just snow covered mountains, small nomadic settlements and the odd camel. After a few hair raising twists and turns, crossing a bridge on the verge of collapse and our bus wheels getting stuck in the snow a couple of times, we pulled into the Guru Travel Ger Camp and were shown to our Ger (a large round tent also called a Yurt in some parts of the world).
Facilities were basic to say the least (no shower, hot water or flush toilet) but just about adequate if armed with baby wipes and alcohol gel, plus a nose peg and hiking boots for the trek to the Mongolian long drop, housed in a corrugated iron shack up the hill.
The Ger itself was amazing – clean, bright, spacious and complete with comfy beds and a log fire – happy for it to be home for a few days. Outside all you could see for miles were mountains and snow. Sitting on the steps leading up to the tiny front door, you really could appreciate the phrase “silence is golden”. There wasn’t a single sound in the vast expanse of countryside and the pure, freezing air gave a real sense of being completely out in the wilderness…