“Fancy going to Mongolia?”
Melanie Mather feels better equipped after working as an expedition doctor
It's a hot weekend in July. I'm inside on call. In the doctors' mess I gobble down a bowl of cereal before my bleep goes again. As I rush out of the door, I notice a poster - “Fancy going to Mongolia on an expedition?” it asks. I'd love to be in Outer Mongolia right now.
Eight months later, I'm high in the sky circling above Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Peering out of the plane window I look down. A huddle of white tents surrounds a few larger buildings and beyond that is only frozen rivers and high naked hills. What have I let myself in for?
The charity Raleigh International runs expeditions all over the world. This expedition was only the third to Mongolia in ten years. There were 120 people in total: 30 staff, all voluntary, of whom eight were doctors, and 90 “venturers” aged between 17