Mongolia #8 Day 3 of the Trek (28/09/15 am)

The sleeping bag I’d hired in UB, to go with the rather inadequate one I brought from Oz, made me feel somewhat like a chrysalis. I know how a caterpillar must feel when wrapped up inside its cocoon.  I couldn’t roll around inside the blessed thing… it was so tight.  Tim to the rescue! He had a spare sleeping bag with him… one that he leaves in Mongolia but brings along as a spare when he’s trekking.  It was a bespoke bag made especially for him by an Australian company.  Now, Tim is a bit taller than I am, so this sounded good, and when he added that it was rectangular and not tapered AND was rated to be adequate to -30 degrees AND, he said, that I could have it if I wanted… yes please!  BIG thank you. I gave my two bags to others who indicated they would also like something extra. Everybody was happy, including Tim who didn’t have to carry his spare bag anymore.

My night’s sleep in Tim’s bag was very good.  I awoke at 06.30 with light creeping into the sky. The sun broke through drifts of cloud around 30 minutes later.

The usual porridge, muesli and scrambled egg followed for breakfast.  Fresh bread won’t last long in those very dry conditions, so the cooks made us some flat bread.  A nice change and so much better than the alternative.  

DSC01686 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01686 © DY of jtdytravels

We walked back to the rocks on the edge of this part of Khyargas Nuur and saw them in the morning light… so very different from the evening light.

DSC01689 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01689 © DY of jtdytravels

The sun was yet to brighten these rocks.

DSC01691 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01691 © DY of jtdytravels

We walked, carefully, all over the rocks.

DSC01692 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01692 © DY of jtdytravels

Back in the vehicles, it was a long flat drive across the vast steppes.

DSC01693 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01693 © DY of jtdytravels

The driver’s view!

DSC01698 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01698 © DY of jtdytravels

We kept coming back to the edge of the lake. And the fuel problem also kept coming back to haunt us, so a stop was made where we could climb over some interesting wind and rain-eroded landscape while the problem was fixed.

DSC01694 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01694 © DY of jtdytravels

A very strange looking plant.

DSC01697 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01697 © DY of jtdytravels

It’s amazing how some plants manage to survive such conditions.

DSC01696 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01696 © DY of jtdytravels

These woody plants showed signs of heavy grazing; probably by sheep and goats. The growing conditions are harsh enough, let alone being nibbled at all the time.

DSC01699 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01699 © DY of jtdytravels

A closer look at these incredibly hardy plants.

DSC01707 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01707 © DY of jtdytravels

Perhaps this thorny plant had the answer to the nibbling of animals!

DSC01705 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01705 © DY of jtdytravels

Panzerina lanata (in seed) growing in a wash-away.

DSC01701 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01701 © DY of jtdytravels

The area was like a moonscape.

DSC01703 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01703 © DY of jtdytravels

Strange indeed!

By the time we got back into the cars, we were starting to get a little peckish… lunch would be very late. Pujee, our driver, produced some hard cheese from the centre console and offered each of us a piece or two.  It was white in colour and about 3mm (1/8 in.) thick and had been made by spreading out a curd onto a flat surface and then dried.  It was so hard that when Pujee snapped off our pieces, one sharp edge cut his finger quite badly.  A piece around half the size of a small postage stamp would last in your mouth for at least an hour.  It doesn’t taste of much but it’s said that it can keep a herdsman going for many days without much else.  It’s light in weight and can be kept in a pocket for ever.  A very handy snack for a Mongolian.

It would have to do us until lunchtime. More about that anon.

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

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