Erdenetsogt, Mongolia

We stopped in the tiny village of Erdenetsogt where a cat ran up a pole to escape a dog, then a crow swooped on it. It felt like a metaphor for life.

Erdenetsogt is home to one of Mongolia’s few remaining Buddhist temples. It survived the Soviet era purges when a local man called Chulaanbat fought off the Communists who had come to destroy it. He was jailed for ten years but the temple still stands today. Somehow I forgot to take a photo.

The landscape surrounding Erdenetsogt was parched with no suitable grass or water for the horses. We trotted for hours and hours in search of either until we found a trickling stream where we watered the horses while our guide asked about grass in a local ger.

9 Sukhi & family
Sukhi and the gaggle of kids  [Image: Jennie S]
As we waited a denim-clad young man from the nearby ger came over to practice his English. His name was Sukhi and he was joined by a gaggle of younger kids who collected dung for a fire. Later they brought us yak milk, goat yoghurt and boiled cheese. Even later, Sukhi returned with vodka which we drank out of a light cover from his jeep while we sat around the fire. It was a funny night!

9 poo collectors
Helpful dung collectors  [Image: Jennie S]

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