The temperature in the Gobi in the south of Mongolia reaches −40 °F in the winter, and as high as 113 °F in the summer, making this one of the most forbidding lands in the world. Yet Bactrian camels have thrived here for millennia, supplying the nomadic herders with valuable wool for textiles, milk for sustenance, and transportation throughout the region.
Pegi Vail is an anthropologist and filmmaker who recently screened her film, Gringo Trails, at Three Camel Lodge. This intrepid traveler has been all over the world, but this was her first visit to Mongolia.
We spoke with Pegi upon her return to New York and here’s what she had to say about her first visit to Mongolia, as well as her fascinating film.
“Who would you invite to a dinner party?” It’s a popular ice breaker, with answers often ranging from the Dalai Lama to Abraham Lincoln, but once you’ve met Bob Krist, it’s likely he will be the first person who comes to mind. Krist is an award-winning photographer who has traveled the world for National Geographic.
Urubshurow has an office in Ulaanbaatar, speaks two Mongolian dialects, and has an infectious enthusiasm for his ancestral homeland. He recommends traveling within the country by four-wheel drive and horse rather than by air—to better appreciate the vast, unspoiled landscapes—and stopping en route to explore dinosaur digs with leading paleontologists. Travelers stay in hotels, gers (traditional Mongolian tents), and the eco-friendly Three Camel Lodge in the Gobi Desert