One of the things in short supply on the Steppe is water. There are a few rivers passing through, and if you are lucky, there may be a subterranean bore handy, all providing water. This water is generally carried by hand to the gers (round felt houses – like yurts) of the local population. In the Soums (small towns and villages) of Mongolia where there are no hotels or motels some accommodation can normally be found in the government buildings. In some of the more popular areas of Mongolia you will find tourist camps. Again, these may not have a large supply of water so cleaning facilities will usually consist of a bowl and some water (and very little water at that – and that supply only in a trickle). Being Australian, I like a shower. I like to be well cleaned. Going a few days without from necessity is not a great trial, but at the first available opportunity to take a shower, then a shower I will take.
We pulled into Baruun-urt, the Aimag Centre of Sukhbaatar Aimag at about 10 pm on Tuesday night, having been travelling for two days. The local manager of the bank had telephoned the public bathhouse and persuaded them to leave the heat on the water for a little longer. What a treat that shower was and how pleasant it was to wash the dust from face, arms, legs and hair.
I must admit, when I returned to Ulaanbaatar after a week traipsing around the Aimags, I spent a good hour soaking in a bath 🙂