I woke late , but so it seemed did everyone else… the camp was all but deserted. Our breakfast table and folding chairs were there, just waiting for us. But no-one seemed to be in a hurry to get up and get going. Perhaps we had all relaxed into Tim’s laid back ways. He’d told us on the very first morning that we should take off our watches and throw away our itineraries. ‘Just live each day as it comes’, was his sage advice. And so we had.
One of the cameleers had kicked some life back into the camp fire and was boiling a pot of water. They say that a watched pot never boils… maybe that’s why he’s not watching.
Even the camels looked relaxed. But eventually they were persuaded that duty called. Our stuff was loaded onto them and we left camp at 10.10 to continue our walk, further down the Yamaat River valley.
A couple of old larch trees stand like sentinels.
The larch at this lower level still had most of their needles.
Sunlight through golden larch needles and cones.
A little residual snow in shady spots of the loose scree along the river valley.
The horses didn’t seem to be in any hurry.
One of our horsemen
After the previous days of trudging through snow, here the walking was easy.
We took it all in our stride.
The vegetation was sparse but it added a touch of colour.
A nomad’s winter shelter… though not so much of the shelter apparent here.
Imagine being here in the depths of a Mongolian winter!
After about a two hour walk, the end of our walking trek was in sight! There, ahead of us, our vehicles and drivers awaited us …. in the designated parking zone!
We had lunch in the shelter of a large ger.
This time, lunch consisted of a tuna and vegetable mash and black rice.
I needed to have a souveneir of this walking trek… and this felt bird had to fill the bill. It will grace our Christmas tree along with so many other small reminders of so many places we have explored in this amazing world of ours.
My felt bird was really nothing like the magpies which had hopped around us in the valley. A relative of the European magpie, these Magpies sport beautiful, long iridescent blue, green & purple wings & tails. Adult black-billed magpies mate for life and stay together year-round. They nest toward the top of deciduous or evergreen trees such as the larches in this valley.
And so we came to the end of our trek. The map shows the part of the Turgen Massif that we’d walked. Now we would head off in the cars to Achit Lake, the large blue lake on the map. More of that anon
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