The vodka of yaks

One night while horseriding through the Khangai Nuruu National Park we camped near a ger with a family of willowly women, who invited us in and fed us boiled goat bones and a stew made of congealed fat.

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Our hosts for the evening

After dinner they offered us homemade vodka distilled from the milk of their yak. It came served in a jam jar (way before hipsters got hold of the idea). This super potent homebrew was an even more acquired taste than airag, with the pungent aroma of warm sick … but by the gods it got you pissed! Four jars of the stuff were consumed during the course of the evening, greatly assisting all of us in singing songs from our respective countries. We listened to cassettes of Mongolian pop music, sang along out of tune, took photos and swapped snuff bottles.

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The youngest member of the family sizing us up

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Not long before the singing began  [Image: Jennie S]
Camping next to their ger was peaceful and rich with the sounds of grunting yaks and farting goats, serenading us off to sleep and filling our dreams. Plus, the vodka helped.

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A peaceful spot on the steppe, with goats and yaks

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