“Here is your pile of wood.” Yul, our guide, pointed to a bin of chopped wood. “The local people use dung, but it is easier for tourists to light this.” He smiled once, a flash of white.
The ger, commonly called a yurt in other parts of the world, was to be our home for the next few nights. Once Yul said his goodbyes, it would just be the two of us, left on our own in the wilds of Mongolia. Although it would just be my mother and I, the ger was the same size as one used for an entire Mongolian family, with three small beds, a desk, and a stove in the middle. Built on top of a cement slab, flooring and carpets had been laid down for comfort. To eat or to use the toilet, we had to walk a few hundred metres to a main lodge. Although there were a few other gers scattered around, we were the only ones brave enough (or stupid enough) to be visiting in late October; frost had already covered parts of the ground, and the trees lost leaves with every gust of wind.