It was after 15.00 by the time we left the herder and his family to go on further by car. The day was fast vanishing and we still had much of this wilderness area to cover before getting to our evening campsite. And it wouldn’t be easy as we’d be driving on snow from here on. We could only hope that the vehicles wouldn’t break down!
It was a bit hard for us to get lost… all our driver Pujee had to do was follow the wheel tracks laid down by the vehicle in front of us. But… did the front car know where he was going? That was the question. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it but sit back and enjoy the drive through some wonderful, pristine landscapes. In actual fact, the front vehicle did know where it was going as the son of the family we had lunch with was home from university and he was in the front car as our guide. And it was my turn in the front seat so I had a ‘grandstand’ view.
It was beautiful country.
Looking back down the valley.
Our vehicles went as far as they could after which we had to walk. But before we left our footprints in the snow, we saw these tracks… probably some kind of rodent.
Our walk would take us further up the valley to a place renowned for its petroglyphs.
So what are they? They’re “images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving or abrading”. The petroglyphs we visited are part of the Mongolian Altai complex. They date back approximately 30,000 years. This site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Depiction of the elusive snow leopard… probably the closet we would get to one.
A horse with rider.
Maybe milking time!
One of the earliest known attempts at three demential drawing.
We walked further on, passing some grasses that bravely still held their dried seed heads high above the snow. It was getting late in the afternoon, shadows grew longer, and these grasses looked as though they were growing out of blue snow!
Our walk took us further on to check out some Turkic standing stones. These stones were in a line leading to the main tomb further up the slope behind me. It’s not known whether the stones represent the number of ‘clans’ who attended the funeral or perhaps the number of warriors killed by the deceased. Conjecture only.
Three Turkic stones – apparently an unusual grouping.
Our guide indicating the size of the standing stones.
Horses trying to find some grasses to eat in the snow.
A lonely figure in a huge landscape
Your intrepid correspondent… cold and weary…the walking had been difficult!
Shadows began to lengthen as we walked back to the vehicles. Would we reach our camp site before dark?
We did, eventually, and by then we were all very tired.
Our camp site as the last light faded from the sky.
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