The majestic view (above) of the Altai Mountain range greets us as we near the entry to the Tavan Bogd National Park. After travelling in a bumpy, 4WD Russian furgon van for over 6 hours this view of our destination is a welcomed sight. It also brings home the spectacle and grandeur of the following 9 days.
We were 12 walkers altogether: Deb, Leonie and Marg from Victoria and Natalia, Narelle, Robyn, Clare, Claire and Annette from Western Australia, Gundee our local expert guide who supported all our activities, Aibek our assistant guide and I.
The skies were a blinding blue and the weather mild and perfect for our first jaunt into the Mongolian wilderness. It really is a walker’s delight with so much space, expansive skies and a magnificent view no matter where you look!
The Tavan Bogd National Park first attracted me because of its location along 4 different borders: Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan and Russia. It is mostly inhabited in the summer months when Kazakh and Tuvan nomads bring their animals to its green pastures. The National Park not only contains lakes, mountains, lush and rugged valleys and alpine sceneries, but also Mongolia’s highest peak, Khuten Mountain (4,300 metres) and the Potanin Glacier, Mongolia’s largest glacier.
We walk for about 10 kilometres to join our camp on the southern shores of Khoton Lake. The team there consists of our main cook, the wonderful Boggy and her assistant cook, Burma. We also have two friendly and helpful camel wranglers who manage the six camels that carry all of the gear and food for our expedition.