MUCH OF YOUR TIME in Mongolia will be spent somewhere. Neither here nor there, but on the way to somewhere else. On the steppes, in a bus, at a roadside greasy spoon, broken down by the side of the road, or splashing spring water on your face at dawn.
A lot of Mongolia looks like this: flat, but ringed with mountains, an absence of people or settlements, and tyre tracks the only indication of road.
Meeting another vehicle is often cause to stop, chat, share some airag- fermented mare's milk.
If you have spent a day and a night bouncing around inside these gutsy Russian vans, the break is welcome.
Traditional nomadic lifestyle is predominant today. The families pack their ger and move their livestock to where the grass is.
Fixed settlements are often just a noodle shop and a petrol bowser.
At one unscheduled stop, I met these two old chaps, veterans of which war, I do not know, sitting outside the ger.
They pinned their medals on and sat like proud ex-soldiers. Probably my favourite subjects from 30 years of photographing.
The grandkids would already be decent horsemen, learning the skills needed to survive the harsh existence on the steppes.
Please don't call them "yurts" as that is the Russian word. A Mongolian home is a ger.
Lined with felt and fur, a stove warms from the centre, and the place of honour is facing the door.
Travel is slow and far in Mongolia, but the people help you through it, and the landscapes relaxing.
The bus I was on stopped here and bought airag, fermented mare's milk, by the drumload. Messengers were dispatched, riders arrived, and the aisles were packed with brew.
A basic but strong machine, the Russian Voskhod 175cc is ideal for the steppes. It is a complement to, but not a replacement for a Mongol's horse.