As we set off in our 4x4s this morning to record a song about the 13th Century Park I thought I knew what to expect. We’ve shot a few items before at these sorts of tourist villages where past customs and architecture are recreated. Turns out I didn’t know what to expect at all. Within about 15 minutes we’d turned off the tarmac road and were pelting it across the Mongolian Steps, the dusty soil kicking up behind as we bumped our way along the bottom of valleys and over hills. One of our fixers, Mandak, said that the majority of Mongolia is like this. No roads as such, you just pick a well worn route across the countryside and off you go.
We arrived at a stone gate with a short length of wooden fence either side, to be greeted by two Mongolian horseback guards in traditional dress. They escorted us a short way along the valley before we arrived at a giant ger tent with 48 flag poles leading up to it. Once inside we chose some 13th century costumes to wear and then spent the rest of the day working our way around the 6 camps nestled in the valleys, each reflecting a different aspect of Mongolian life. It was quite a drive to each camp, over rough terrain, and we were occasionally greeted by the the disappointed faces of tourists who had been enjoying their unique experience of isolation from the 21st century, only to have it shattered by Ben and I turning up and doing rubbish karaoke and dacing to our 1970s disco parody about the park.
By sunset we had shot some amazing footage, and I can’t wait to see all the stuff we filmed on our fixer’s drone, skimming its way through the desolate and deserted landscape, right up to my gurning face.