11 July, Mongolia – ‘All Over The Place – Asia, part 2’

Quite a “bitty” day today as we shot lots of bits and bobs to slot into other items. Started in our lodge hotel reception (it feels a bit like the hotel in ‘Twin Peaks’) shooting an intro to an item we’ll be shooting in a couple of days’ time, then had to make our way out into the heat (we’re higher up than Ben Nevis here in Mongolia and the UV light is quite punishing) to shoot a couple of short sketches.

Once we’d finished our lunch (the food here in Mongolia has been surprisingly good, if quite meat based) it was into the 4x4s to visit a few locations around the national park where we could film a sketch in the style of a party political broadcast, with me dressed as Genghis Khan. It’s Mongolia’s national holiday, Naadam, at the moment, and when we reached a spot by the riverbank we were greeted by the sight of a hundred or so cars perched on the rocky edges of the river. While we were there people were trying to drive through it and often getting stuck, then being towed out by an enterprising local’s truck. It was all a bit chaotic, and you get the sense that in Mongolia you can pretty much do what you like when it comes to driving round the countryside, or other people’s health and safety. Our fixer said they drive cars here like they ride horses – fast, and showing off.

Just managed to grab the last shots we needed on the mountainside by our hotel as the sun went down and some drizzle began, then once I’d got back to my hotel room a beautiful rainbow arched its way over the rocks and dusty grass. Stood on my balcony soaking up the visuals and the silence and wishing that I could come back here one day, and wondering how it will have changed if I ever do.

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