Mongolia #12 Day 5 of the Trek (30/09/15)

It had been a very cold night!  Tim told us it was -19ºC (-2.2 ºF) and falling when he turned in and that it was somewhere between -8 & -12º C (17.6 & 10.4ºF) inside our tents during the night.  I could well believe him as a 1.5 litre (3.2 US pints) bottle of water lying beside me all but froze – just little bubbles bouncing around between the ice shards.

DSC01822 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01822 © DY of jtdytravels

It snowed a little during the night but the sun was shining so everything was OK!

DSC01823 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01823 © DY of jtdytravels

The camels were in their full winter coats so they seemed happy enough.

DSC01824 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01824 © DY of jtdytravels

Tell-tale tracks led away from camp… heading to our morning ablutions.

DSC01827 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01827 © DY of jtdytravels

I think we still looked cold at breakfast time.

DSC01828 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01828 © DY of jtdytravels

Tseren, our Mongolian tour company leader, definitely looked uncomfortable.

DSC01829 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01829 © DY of jtdytravels

Tim gave us a run down on the trek for the day but it was hard to get any energy into our cold bones or enthusiasm for walking in the snow again. As a result we were late departing. But we had to push on to our next camp site. The longer we left it, the later it would be before we got there and that made the evenings more difficult for everyone, particularly the crew.

DSC01830 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01830 © DY of jtdytravels

By noon, it had clouded over, which made it easy walking without too much glare.

DSC01831 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01831 © DY of jtdytravels

The sun poked its nose through slots in the clouds to give lovely vistas.

DSC01832 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01832 © DY of jtdytravels

.

DSC01833 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01833 © DY of jtdytravels

There weren’t many signs of life… just us ourselves and our animals. 

I wondered where this little fellow had come from and where was he going to?

Was he looking for a mate?

DSC01836 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01836 © DY of jtdytravels

It was really hard going, and dangerous walking at times.

DSC01837 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01837 © DY of jtdytravels

Tseren looked much happier here.  She’s with our senior cook who’d heard, while we were trekking, that her ger at home had been burnt down.  An electrical fault apparently caused the fire. We took up a collection to help her through her crisis.

DSC01838 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01838 © DY of jtdytravels

It was good to have a rest part way up the slope and enjoy the view.

DSC01839 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01839 © DY of jtdytravels

Finally, we made it to the top, as designated by the rocks… the ovoo. These are at the top of passes and have spiritual significance for the locals. Even after that long climb, we still performed the ritual of walking around the ovoo, clockwise, three times, tossing a stone on the pile on each time around.

DSC01841 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01841 © DY of jtdytravels

Serene scenery. It was around 17.00, still below freezing and we had further to walk.

DSC01842 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01842 © DY of jtdytravels

Colourful lichen on an almost buried rock.

DSC01844 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01844 © DY of jtdytravels

Our pack animals carried all personal gear packed into our World Expedition supplied red duffle bags.  These bags could be tied comfortably onto the horses and camels.

DSC01843 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01843 © DY of jtdytravels

And that’s where we had to go – right down to the valley floor!

DSC01845 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01845 © DY of jtdytravels

As I made my way carefully down this slippery slope to the valley floor,

the late afternoon sun touched clouds and mountain.

DSC01846 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01846 © DY of jtdytravels

We made it!  Big smiles all around!

More anon

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

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