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At the top of most mountain passes in Mongolia is an ovoo. Thats a pile of rocks where travellers add their own rock, and then circle three times clockwise. An ovoo is also where you usually meet another group traveling, often a family with yaks and horses and camels and several hundred sheep. The adults then stand in a circle and the elder pours milk vodka into a porcelain cup that then gets passed to everyone to take a sip.

I have travelled enough to know that it is incredibly rude and insulting to decline an offer of food or drink. I drank my share of the offered brew, the Mongolians exchanged information, kind of like sharing Facebook timelines, everyone then knew what was going on everywhere and we went our separate ways.

5 horses had wandered into our campsite 3 days back, and now our guide knew they belonged to a family 2 days away. We had taken the horses with us because in Ghengis Khan days stealing a horse got you the death penalty, so of course returning them was the right thing to do. Two days later the horses got to their owners and we feasted on yak milk tea and home made cheese, but then thats another story.

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