Mongolia #13 Day 6 of the Trek (01/10/15 am)

DSC01854 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01854 © DY of jtdytravels

The sun was slow to creep into our valley.  The overnight snow fall was therefore slow to melt from our tents.  I awoke at 07.00 and was served hot chocolate in bed 30 minutes later.  We’d been told to stay warm as it was -3ºC (26.6ºF) outside, and this temperature didn’t take into account the breeze.

DSC01848 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01848 © DY of jtdytravels

The moon hung around, watching proceedings from a brilliant and cloud-free blue sky.

DSC01851 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01851 © DY of jtdytravels

It was a beautiful valley and so peaceful.

DSC01852 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01852 © DY of jtdytravels

Still no sun on the valley floor, our tents providing the only colour besides the white of the snow and the brown of the exposed rocks. The blue tent is the cooking/mess tent.

DSC01857 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01857 © DY of jtdytravels

At last sunshine bathed the valley and began to warm us up.

It was mid-morning before we were ready to leave camp and head down the valley. 

DSC01861 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01861 © DY of jtdytravels

The fresh snow fall provided a great surface on which to see animal tracks.  We believe we saw the foot-prints of antelope, lynx, and wolf.  We were hoping to see snow leopard tracks as the area is known to be home to many of these majestic creatures.  However, we didn’t see anything big enough to belong to these very secretive animals.  They were probably watching us from high above on the hill-sides but they are so well camouflaged, we didn’t see them.

DSC01859 DY of jtdytravels

DSC01859 DY of jtdytravels

Antelope tracks in the fresh snow.

DSC01865 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01865 © DY of jtdytravels

It didn’t take long for us to spread out along the valley floor.

DSC01866 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01866 © DY of jtdytravels

At times I almost envied those riding on horses… almost, but not quite.

DSC01867 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01867 © DY of jtdytravels

I could make my own pace and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings on my own.

DSC01869 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01869 © DY of jtdytravels

Larch trees began to appear on the hillsides.

Larches are deciduous conifers which can grow from 20 to 45 m tall. They are native to cool temperate northern hemisphere areas such as here. The needles turn yellow, as they are here, then brown and fall in the late autumn, leaving the trees leafless through the winter.

DSC01871 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01871 © DY of jtdytravels

A larch cone.

DSC01872 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01872 © DY of jtdytravels

Dried wildflowers stoically held their heads above the snow…

and we stoically trudged on.

DSC01875 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01875 © DY of jtdytravels

 A couple of hours later we were finally walking on grass and rocks again. Our Bactrian camels were as happy as we were to be on grass again. The snow was still around but a bit further up the hill-sides except for some we encountered in shady spots.

DSC01876 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01876 © DY of jtdytravels

Do I discern a bit of a smile?

DSC01879 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01879 © DY of jtdytravels

Our cream camel is still showing its characteristic aloofness.

DSC01878 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01878 © DY of jtdytravels

A Mongolian horse saddle.

The horses was able to have a rest and a feed while we had our lunch.

DSC01882 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01882 © DY of jtdytravels

A laid back Tim enjoys a rest in the sun after our morning’s walk.

Our trudging through the snow was over… we looked forward to the afternoon walk.

More of that anon.

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

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