Mongolia #15 Day 7 of the Trek (02/10/15 am)

 

DSC01926 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01926 © DY of jtdytravels

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.

DSC01928 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01928 © DY of jtdytravels

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.

DSC01927 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01927 © DY of jtdytravels

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.

DSC01929 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01929 © DY of jtdytravels

A couple of old larch trees stand like sentinels.

DSC01930 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01930 © DY of jtdytravels

The larch at this lower level still had most of their needles.

DSC01943 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01943 © DY of jtdytravels

Sunlight through golden larch needles and cones.

DSC01931 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01931 © DY of jtdytravels

A little residual snow in shady spots of the loose scree along the river valley. 

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DSC01933 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01933 © DY of jtdytravels

The horses didn’t seem to be in any hurry.

DSC01935 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01935 © DY of jtdytravels

One of our horsemen

DSC01938 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01938 © DY of jtdytravels

After the previous days of trudging through snow, here the walking was easy.

DSC01939 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01939 © DY of jtdytravels

We took it all in our stride.

DSC01940 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01940 © DY of jtdytravels

The vegetation was sparse but it added a touch of colour.

DSC01941 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01941 © DY of jtdytravels

A nomad’s winter shelter… though not so much of the shelter apparent here.

Imagine being here in the depths of a Mongolian winter!

DSC01944 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01944 © DY of jtdytravels

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!

DSC01949 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01949 © DY of jtdytravels

We had lunch in the shelter of a large ger.

DSC01948 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01948 © DY of jtdytravels

This time, lunch consisted of a tuna and vegetable mash and black rice.

DSC01951 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01951 © DY of jtdytravels

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.

DSC01968 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01968 © DY of jtdytravels

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.

Map of walking trek

Map of walking trek

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

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

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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

If you enjoy these armchair travels, please pass our site onto others

www.dymusings.com

more of our travel stories and photos can be found on

www.jtdytravels.com

More of our travel photos are on

www.flickr.com/photos/jtdytravels