If we ever stop travelling and eventually have some land somewhere, I think I would like to live in a ger. It’s like camping for grownups. Looking at the shape and structure from the inside made me feel like I was sleeping in a mini circus tent. And now for my next trick….lighting the morning fire!
Outside of the main city Ulan Bataar, most Mongolians still live in gers. Even if they aren’t nomadic but have a permanent house, they might have a ger in the backyard as an extra room. The gers are built on a perfectly circular wooden floor, with easily collapsible wooden beams structured around a circular ring, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel, as the walls and roof. The gers are kept beautifully warm by a central stove, with the smoke escaping through a chimney that comes out at the peak of the roof. They are fitted with proper wooden furniture such as beds and low tables.
After a long day of hiking, coming back to the ger and sitting around the fire was the perfect retreat from the wind and the cold. While we were lucky to have mostly sunny days, the evenings were cold and it even snowed one day.
One morning the sun was out and the wind had dropped so I could have a lovely yoga practice out the front of the ger looking out towards yaks and horses grazing by the lake. Then next day it was cold, but I was happy to find that there was just enough space to practice inside the ger. Balancing postures have an extra element of danger when practiced by a wood-fire stove!
We loved our time in the ger. It certainly made us appreciate having electricity and a hot shower when we got back to Ulan Bataar. Maybe living in a ger fulltime is not necessary. But a little holiday now and again would be lovely!
(reading time while roberto does his practice!)