LAT 48.980000 LONG 88.135278
What a sublime view to wake up to and what the photo cannot convey is the tranquil sound of the brook whispering beside us. That morning we saw Mongolian mountain goats (Capra sibirica) but were not quick enough to capture them on photos. We captured this shot of a land squirrel though.
LAT 48.988889 LONG 88.139167
Our lunch of two-minute noodles never tasted so good as today after the effort to reach the 3,400-metre pass, sitting on chunks of black and grey slate, the sharp chilly wind offsetting the bright, warm sun, surrounded by 360 degree views of the top of several peaks and smaller glaciers. See video below.
Before descending into the Khar Salaa valley, we were overtaken by a pack of speeding camels loaded with gear. This was a breathtaking and very dramatic section of walking, senses on overload from every direction.
All around were mountain edges, ‘tobo’ shrines, the river flowing in the distance, glaciers, changing terrain & wildflowers.
As we descended to the valley, the activities of nomadic Tuvan herders captivated our attention while we rested and figured out a way to get across the large boggy stretch up ahead.
The end of summer signals a time to prepare for the harsh Mongolian winter. At the camp ground some nomads were occupied with fixing a truck, others were checking on the drying goat skins spread like offerings outside a ger.
Further afield, a team of men and women were finishing a day of grass cutting (using scythes) and packing it tight into back of a truck.
Finally, two girls signalled to us to follow them and showed us a way to hop over the streams and waterways.
We slept in a nook on a hill between an rocky outcrop and the path, surrounded by marmot holes - we still did not get a good shot of them but it was another amazing night in the Mongolian wilderness.
Big thank you to Morgan Gillham for the exceptional photographs!