Photographer's Note

"This winter was so difficult, we lost many cattle in the cold" said the owner of this ger through our translator, "the coldest, it was maybe -52C" she explains over a cup of Mongolian salt tea, and I'm looking outside at the most beautiful weather wondering how it's possible! "Because we lost so many cattle some of the men have gone to the city for work, and some of them had no choice but to work illegally in the gold mines - one of men from further in the hills died last week when the mine collapsed" she explains to me suppressing her sadness through a forced smile.

The occupants of this ger are of the 'Darkhad' minority who live in the very north of Mongolia on the border with Siberia in Russia. We stayed with them enjoying their excellent food, drink and hospitality for the en-route to he mountains in the distance.

I couldn't help thinking they lived in a kind of paradise; clean air and environment, they want for practically nothing and live a life free from modern complications, but on the other hand when winter bites their lives quickly become a cold hell. Would you live there?

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Additional Photos by Lee Marshall (litiancai) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 2 N: 288] (1048)
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