[ ZONE 1 – First Time Outbackers and Family Friendly ]
On this special homestay you will have an opportunity to live with nomadic family in their homes, and to help them in herding or handling animals such as horses, cows, goats, sheep, helping in the kitchen, collecting water or perhaps gathering fire fuel by ox cart in their daily routines.
(Notes: 1. Distance may indeed vary, shorter on some days and longer on others 2. Travelers will pay directly on bus 3. Travelers will pay for local park fees when required)
Day One – Dung collecting challenge and milking cows (L, D – Overnight in Ger): Upon arrival at the nomadic family, you will be welcomed with a nomadic lunch and tea. After lunch you will collect dung according to nomadic ways using traditional equipments. The task will be completed when the one who first fills the wooden vessel (basket) to its brim. In the evening you can help women to milk cows and fence sheep, goats in sheep pen and calves in the ‘calf shed’ with the children. Then you will have a dinner with family members.
Day Two – Herd and milk sheep/goats (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): Your next challenge is waiting you today. After breakfast you will herd sheep and goats with a kid. In the afternoon time you will herd them back home and tie-up the sheep and goats for milking. After milking the sheep and goats you will have a lunch to which you will continue to herd sheep and goats till evening. In the evening you will herd them back and fence-in the sheep, goats and offspring separately into their pens.
Day Three – Collecting fallen trees and water by ox cart (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast, you will travel by ox cart with a host into forest to collect fallen woods. In the afternoon you will be served a lunch to which you will travel again by ox cart to fill and carry water jugs to/from the River. Afterwards, you will have a chance to cool down and swim in river with kids before returning for evening dinner.
Day Four – Learn how to make yogurt and dried curds (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast, you will learn how to make yogurt (tarag). Tarag is considered to be an essential food and not a drink for its highly nutritious quality; hence Mongols say ‘eat tarag’ but not drink. Tarag is usually, made of sheep and cow’s milk. Tarag of sheep milk becomes very thick like liver so it’s called as ‘elgen’ or ‘liver tarag’ and it’s very delicious. After yogurt, you will have an opportunity to learn how to make dried curds; Aaruul (dried curds) is made of curds by mixing it with sugar and wild berries and cutting the curd into different shapes and patterns. In the evening you will served a dinner.
Day Five – Keep an eye on the horses and learn how to catch a horse (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): Early morning you will have a breakfast, after which you will travel by horseback with the host to watch over his horses on the pasture; today’s journey will be 20kms round trip. If he needs more horses, you will help him to catch the horses and herd them home. Afterwards you will have free time and be served a dinner.
Day Six – Learn how to make nomadic food (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast, you can help the kids to herd the cows and sheep to pasture and clean the yard around the sheep pen. In the late afternoon you will help the hostess to distill vodka; to make distilled spirit, fermented yoghurt is put in a 16-18 liter pot on the fireplace. Before making a fire, you will prepare the utensils for distilling then fill the pot with water and continue making fire. As soon as water in pot is heated, change the water with cold once or twice – after this process the distilled spirit is collected; generally, it takes 2-4 hours for 1-5 liters of vodka to be produced.
Day Seven – Look over horses on the pasture and catch horses (B, L): Early this morning you can help boil milk in a pot and make white butter; milk is boiled and stirred till a thick layer of skin is formed. To make white butter, it takes one hour – this will be your breakfast. Afterwards you will have free time and can walk around, if you want you can travel by horse or ox cart surroundings. In the afternoon you will have a possibility to participate in making nomadic food with a hostess for your farewell lunch to which you will depart to UB city.