I woke early and was up by 07.00… before the sun!
The herdsman’s ger looked a bit lonely in this seemingly endless landscape.
Goats began to gather near my lonely tent. Not much else was stirring.
The ger we ate in seemed to come to life when a curl of smoke rose from its chimney.
Some of the goats waiting to be rounded up for milking.
When the sheep joined in, there was quite a flock.
It was good to have a bit of time out here with the goats on my own. But that could not last forever… the day had begun for everyone. I was called for breakfast.
We shared our breakfast with the family in their ger. It was the usual porridge followed by scrambled egg, bread and green tea.
This is what it’s like inside a typical ger. In the centre, there’s a stove for cooking and heating and two central poles – one yellow, one red in this photo. They are actually the same colour – the light was playing tricks. These main poles hold up the ‘wheel’ that forms the ger which is itself held in position by the ascending smaller poles. It looks like the spokes of a wheel. The lattice that forms the walls is also visible.
Outside, the family’s goats were about to be milked. Every family member was involved in some way or other. The goats are lined up with their horns interlocking. My driver, Pujee, was in there helping too. He’d obviously done it many times before.
And he was obviously enjoying himself.
This method of interlocking the goat’s horns holds the goats in position.
What a contented lot!
An interesting view along the rows of locked horns.
Both lines of goats were milked at the same time.
The head of the family watched on.
He was never far from his trusty steed.
It’s said that a Mongol without his horse is like a bird without wings!
Tim looked a little worried, but there was nothing to worry about… the vehicle we’d left behind in town turned up during the night.
Pujee posed beside his vehicle before we set off to drive to the starting point for the walking part of our trek. Because there were only a couple of tents put up, we were able to get on the road relatively early, at 09.00.
We traversed some lovely country coming to a river with many larch trees dressed in their autumn gold.
What a delightful view … an oasis in a brown, dusty landscape.
But there was still plenty of dust as we climbed up out of the valley.
This fascinating rock formation bordered the valley we drove up.
And then finally, we saw them for the first time, beyond a lake and beneath that huge blue sky, there they were, the snow covered mountains that we were heading for… the place where our cars could take us no further and we would have to walk!
More of that anon
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