Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Day 158 - Around Murun - Wed 31 Jul
Rained last night, and woke to rainy misty morning, all potholes and ruts filled and boggy - we'll probably have to find a drier camp. Birds deciding we are a tree and pooping everywhere. “Our” dog knows to come and search out our new hiding place each morning for the rubbish bag. We are obviously becoming part of the local scene.
Pocket Lumix camera has developed another problem, lens won't open or close all the way. Will it last another two months? Worse problem though – is the fridge dead?? It hasn't drawn power overnight, has been alternating between loud humming noises and no sound at all – watching brief - meat in freezer doesn’t seem to be defrosting....
Met Sara tourist guide/translator for our auto and bank transfer questions, she is from Tsaatan reindeer people, Lonely Planet says of Tuvan ethnic group, only 300 left, living in orts or teepees, truly nomadic moving reindeer herds every 2-3 weeks to find special grass and lichens. Some are lured to lower slopes chasing tourist dollars, inhospitable elevation endangering herds who can’t live there. Sara is working for their long term sustainability through advocacy and eco-tourism. She has previously studied nursing and tourism, had a study grant to Japan and is now looking for one in Australia whilst tourism shuts down over winter. Promised to help assist in some way. 

Heard from our overlanding icon Kym who had the same spring issues with his EC, he is now travelling in Central America and says his temporary weld held 3000km! 

Our travel buddies turned up with our washing and stories of their Lake explorations. We had dinner at 50*100* hotel, none of mutton meals available for our adventurous men - probably just as well seeing one was sheep’s head... Back to river camp seeing rain had passed. Man from ger closest to river demanded money from Miles to camp there, he politely declined. Ger Man came down to us on bike half hour later wanting money from us. BoyRob pointed out many people used riverbank esp locals so it was free for everyone. They had an amicable miming session and the fellow left us in peace to drink our hot chocolate and go to bed.

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