Well, nine’s not too bad a start, is it? Of course not!
We are quite disorganised. First it took us a while to get our stuff packed up into our rucksacks, and then the wranglers had to help mop up a sauce bottle that had cracked inside one of the bags. When we finally got underway, we had barely walked for fifteen minutes before we had to pause half way up a fairly minor hill to shed much of our outer wear. In the early Mongolian morning, before the sun has truly risen, we need to wear fleeces, waterproofs and hats in order not to freeze, but when the sun hits you – bam! You’re cooking.
We walked 15 kilometres during today, with only minimal stops for rest and lunch. We passed through woods, marshy bits and even around mountains. We are now following the river as a guide, since it will eventually lead us back to the lake.
The campsite we have stopped at, a place specially picked out by World Challenge to pause at, is not very clean. It’s a rule heavily enforced by Kaz that we make certain to sweep a campsite before we leave for any litter – and yet we found some rubbish jammed inside a rotted tree trunk, with an itinerary that showed it had belonged to a World Challenge group who’d been there a week before us! Kaz was furious, and has plans to report whoever it was to the highers ups back home.
Will and Amit, who were in charge of digging the latrine, were geniuses – they rigged up a dead log in the following manner, in order to make a super fancy loo:
They christened it the ‘Wamit’.
If you are not impressed, remember that this is really about as good as it gets. Most of our latrines are just three foot holes, with soil slowly shovelled back in over the waste of whoever came before you, only shielded from the view of those back at camp by bags secured into place with walking poles.
I cooked some flat bread tonight, I think I’m improving, but I wish we’d brought more salt!
Sore, aching everywhere but especially in the shoulders. Satisfied at how the day has gone.