I keep a journal on all my “interesting” trips, along with a sketchbook, and thought that I would occasionally share some entries. In 2006, I read The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux on the first part of the trip and was inspired to try my hand at recording something more descriptive, rather than just short “Today I was in western Mongolia, the van broke down and I got food poisoning.” diary-type entries. Here’s what it was like to get clean at a ger camp in the Gobi:
October 2, 2006 1:15pm:
Ah, the joys of clean hair and body. Once it was ready, I went to the shower ger. There was a stone path leading to a wood slat platform. A big metal bowl of hot water was sitting on top of the stove, in which there was a roaring fire. A small stand held one pair each lg. and small plastic sandals. There was a hook for ones clothes. The shower was provided by a pump sprayer just like what one would buy at the garden shop or hardware store with a spray head attached. One fills it (although it was already ready for me) with a combination of hot water from the stove and cold water from a can by the wall. Pump up the pressure and voila! a perfectly acceptable hot shower in the middle of the Gobi. It was still a little chilly, so I had a fire ready to go back at my get, so I am now (more or less) clean, dry and warm, a lovely combination much appreciated on this kind of trip.