The place we wanted to stay at was called Steppe Nomads Ger Camp. I expected we could get a Ger with Breakfast for about $30 a day – each. But the initial quote was for $45 a day with all meals. Actually pretty standard as we have since discovered but I enquired as to cheaper options and was told about the eco-ger. Well, we are very ecologically minded – by not using aircraft we have single-handedly reduced carbon emissions in Asia by a factor of 3 ( a very small factor of 3 I expect but land travel is better than flying so we are making a difference!). Anyway, the eco option was all about no electricity vs electricity so we went with it. At only $25 each a day, it somehow included all meals……….
Picked up in a boy racer Nissan Skyline complete with loud exhaust, we left UB on a 3 hour journey to somewhere East. We only broke down once and most of the drive was on half decent tarred road so all pretty straightforward. As we approached the national park, there was only one last hill between us and the ger camp. Of course to our rear was one of Mongolia’s largest mines, a gigantic coal mine that is obvious due mostly to the fact that what used to be in the earth is now out of it – kilometers and kilometers of slag piles that made me wonder just how pristine and special our Mongolian National Park experience was going to be.
But we cleared that hill and low and behold – the promised land. And there by the river was our little Ger camp, home for the next 6 days. As we pulled up at the front gates, the driver took a last minute detour and stopped in front of two gers next to the camp. Out came an assortment of Mongolians, young and old, and the driver opened the boot of the car and pointed to one of the gers. So without any English spoken, we unloaded our gear into one of the gers and then entered the other – our host family for our eco-ger stay! Not really that much more eco than the main camp we would soon find as there were no powered gers and the main restaurant / amenities building was on solar power. In our case eco meant traditional and for us it was a huge bonus – we were about to have the best 6 days of our trip so far!!