Accomodation & food
While in Ulan Bator we will stay in the Best Western Premier Tuushin. In Olgii, our choice is limited, but we will be staying in the best hotel there is to offer. During the trip, if you are a couple, you will be sleeping in the spacious and sturdy 3 person, 4 season North Face VE25 expedition tent. If you are single you will be provided with a comparatively spacious 2 person, 4 season Kelty tent. Everyone will have a very comfortable rolling, insulated, inflatable mattress. Our camp is comprised of a cooks tent, a dining tent with tables and fold up chairs and of course a strategically located latrine tent. The latrine is an upright tent and we use a simple method of a freshly dug hole in the ground with a pile of sand/gravel and a shovel at hand to cover things up when finished. Hot water will be available every day for showers (hand shower), which can be taken in one of two specifically dedicated upright tents.
For the last couple of days at the end of the trip, we will stay in the typical Kazakh ger, which is slightly bigger than the Mongolian ger. They are very spacious with enough room to walk around, with raised beds and conventional mattresses. These gers are shared between 3 to 4 people.
Food in Mongolia reflects its history and geography. Mongolians have always eaten to stay alive. The nomads in Western Mongolia migrate 4 times a year with their herds of sheep, goats, yaks, cows, horses and camels. They can put up and take down their Gers within a couple of hours. This continual movement does not leave time to grow fruits or vegetables, so the diet is basically limited to fresh meat, milk, and anything they can make from milk such as yogurt, cheese and curd. The harshness of the environment doesn’t allow anything to grow naturally in abundance, so the nomad’s diet is fairly limited to say the least. A staple of the diet is Buuz, which are steam heated, meat filled dumplings. A vegetarian version of these can also be made.
Thanks to comparatively well-stocked supermarkets in Olgii, we are able to bring a healthy supply of salads and vegetables, fruit, bread, sausage, pasta, pancakes and other foods, which the nomad population does not eat.
We are also blessed with a cook who seems to be able to produce wonders out of nothing and is accustomed to catering to Westerner’s palates.
Breakfast: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cereal, yogurt, eggs, fried sausage, porridge with raisins and dried fruit, pancakes, toast, butter and jam, apples and oranges, watermelon, apple and orange juice.
Lunch and dinner: soup and salad, rice, pasta, potato salad, beef, lamb, chicken, huushuur (empanadas), Mongolian koftas and fruit. We can sometimes get fish straight from the lake.
We can also accommodate vegetarians and within reason, special diets. We are however limited to what we can carry with us and what we can purchase in the supermarket before we leave, so please keep this in mind.
We will carry a limited amount of beer and vodka to share with our hosts when we stay with families along our route. There is a fairly good choice of beverages and food at the supermarket in Olgii including dried fruits, chocolate and biscuits. If there is something that you absolutely cannot live without, please bring it with you.