During the days spent in Mongolia I was able to experience life outside the world of visiting gers & taking tea. I had chances at managing flocks, milking goats & lending a hand in the process of felt making. As simple as these involvements were, they were times of both joy & sadness in knowing I was just "passing through" & largely unskilled in what was a normality for them. . Tim, having only organised distances that needed to be completed each day & sometimes special detours to places of significance of great beauty, allowed for the beauty of the spontaneity to occur. Pictured is a story of one of these moments. . In the first photo, you can see sheep & goats out near the river. There was a ger to the left & this was what caught my eye first. I expected to head right down to it but Tim sat down instead, looking down on the animal herd & observing the scene in silence. A nomad was picking sheep out from the group, clipping excess wool from underneath their tails, whilst his children were keeping the herd together. The silence lasted for a few minutes before Tim suddenly stood up & said "Let's go help". I kicked myself at not even thinking that I could be involved, but this was a different world. This was not Australia where if I jumped a fence & started helping a farmer round up his herds, I'm sure I would get more than strange looks. Here we slid right into the action, preventing the animals from splitting from the main body, with no obstruction. No raised eyebrows nor harsh words to mind our own business. It was a comfortable transition from observing to physical involvement. . Tsengee surprised me in the confusion by suddenly dumping a baby goat in my hands, my reaction being to yell "Tsengee, what do I DO with it?!". He spent the afternoon jokingly letting me know that I had been gifted a goat but I had rudely returned it to the flock. . The boy pictured is 6 years old & I marvelled as he tried tirelessly to catch a sheep on his own, his exhaustion showing as he sits on one of his successful catches. He looked younger still as he struggled to mount his horse, but yet he rode way expertly (with no saddle) back to the ger where we were welcomed in for tea. .
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How one feels whilst out on the steppe.. . . When in the steppe I stand alone With far horizons clear to view, Ambrosia on the breezes blown And skies above me crystal blue, I sense my own true human height And in eternity delight. . The obstacles to all my dreams Now shrink, appear absurd, inept, And nothing either is or seems Except myself, these birds, this steppe... What a joy it is to feel all round Wide open space that knows no bound! . – unknown Kalmyk poet . . (The Kalmyks being descended from the Oirat Mongols who migrated to the Caspian steppe in the early seventeenth century, forming the Kalmyk Khanate). . . . Still missing Mongolia as much as ever but have been spending a great deal of time reading & researching the history & culture of people who call/have called the Eurasian steppe home. . . . . . #mongolia #kharkhiraa #türgen #uvs #uvsprovince #landofthenomads #nomads #steppe #steppelife #migration #hiking #nomadlife #blueskies #green #kalmyks #poems #travel #eurasiansteppe #poetry #caspiansteppe #dreams #oiratmongols #mongols #history #culture #freedom #wideopenspaces
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"Before us now stretched Mongolia with deserts trembling in the mirages, with endless steppes covered with emerald-green grass and multitudes of wild flowers, with nameless snow peaks, limitless forests, thundering rivers and swift mountain streams. The way that we had travelled with such toil had disappeared behind us among gorges and ravines. We could not have dreamed of a more captivating entrance to a new country, and when the sun sank upon that day, we felt as though born into a new life - a life which had the strength of the hills, the depth of the heavens and the beauty of the sunrise.” . Henning Haslund . From his book "Mongolian Adventure: 1920s Danger and escape among the mounted nomads of Central Asia" of which I highly recommend. . . . I can honestly say that traveling in western Mongolia, through the mountains & across the steppe, will be one the most memorable experiences of my life. The ever-changing beauty of the landscape along with the open warmth & hospitality of the nomads won my heart over every hour of every day. . . . . . #mongolia #kharkhiraa #türgen #uvs #uvsprovince #westernmongolia #steppe #nomads #steppelife #gerlife #yurtlife #landofthenomads #reallifenomads #mongoliadreaming #lifetimedream #bucketlist #onceinalifetimeexperience #quotes #mongolianadventure #henninghaslund #landscape #hospitality #inlove #centralasia #bookrecommendations #captivating #travel #altai
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Ger rules & etiquette . If you ever have the good fortune to be able to visit a nomadic family & enter their ger, it's important to note a few rules in regards to entering, sitting & taking tea. Though they understand that you may be unaware of these particular things, being foreigners, I think it's respectful to learn about their traditions as opposed to going in completely blind. . I've compiled the following list of rules/etiquette that I learnt & followed during my time amongst the nomads. I hope you find it an interesting & insightful read. . . Knocking on the door of a ger is seen to be rude. . When entering a ger, never step on the threshold but step over it with your right foot. . Do not roll up your sleeves in a ger, doing so indicates that you want to fight. . Do not pass through or pass food between the two centre posts or touch them. . If you would like to walk across a ger, do so in a clockwise direction & never cross the middle. . Never step over food or over someone's feet. . Do not accept anything with your left hand. Instead receive what is offered with your right hand, your left hand supporting the right at the elbow. . Pick up things with an open hand with your palm facing upwards. . You are expected to at least taste what you are offered lest you appear rude. An empty bowl or plate also is an indication that you want more so, of you have had enough, simply leave a little food/drink in your dish. . Do not throw trash in the fire. . It is taboo to ask a nomad "When will we arrive?" or ask the number of heads of livestock he owns. They believe that giving an ETA will curse & delay things in the same way they believe that naming the exact number of their herds will curse them & cause animal numbers to decline. If they do give an ETA it will be wildly approximate. . The top of the ger is an honoured position. Do not sit there unless the place is offered to you. . No one is ever in a hurry. Always be patient & never raise your voice. . Guests sit on the left side of the ger, the hosts on the right. . If vodka is offered, it is done so using one bowl for all. Drink then return the bowl back to the host so he can refill & pass onto someone else. . .
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En contre-bas l'immense vallée des Turgën dans une partie, soyons clairs, peu fréquentée de Mongolie : l'Altaï. Nous montons un belvédère situé vers 3000 mètres d’altitude pour admirer les grands sommets glaciaires de Türgen Uul (4245 m) et le Tsagaan Doglii (4215 m). #mongolie #mongolia #visitmongolia #Türgen #OulanBator #ulaanBaatar #nomade #wanderlust #voyage #trekking #türgen #uvs #landofthenomads #rivervalley #altai #travel #nature #discover #mountains #landscape #tirawa #asia #aventure #kharkhiraa #westernmongolia
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Above the lakes, above the vales, The mountains and the woods, the clouds, the seas, Beyond the sun, beyond the ether, Beyond the confines of the starry spheres, My soul, you move with ease, And like a strong swimmer in rapture in the wave You wing your way blithely through boundless space With virile joy unspeakable. Fly far, far away from this baneful miasma And purify yourself in the celestial air, Drink the ethereal fire of those limpid regions As you would the purest of heavenly nectars. Beyond the vast sorrows and all the vexations That weigh upon our lives and obscure our vision, Happy is he who can with his vigorous wing Soar up towards those fields luminous and serene, He whose thoughts, like skylarks, Toward the morning sky take flight — Who hovers over life and understands with ease The language of flowers and silent things! . . Élévation - Charles Baudelaire . Translation by William Aggeler . . . . . #mongolia #kharkhiraa #türgen #uvs #uvsprovince #westernmongolia #landofthenomads #blue #bluelake #mountains #landscape #lake #freeday #exploration #escapetomongolia #elevation #charlesbaudelaire #poetry #mysoul #languageofflowers #silentthings #nature #altai
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Just a continuation from yesterday's post. . Another audio clip of the nomad men singing in the dinner tent as the rain fell outside. They left us the next day after traveling many days with us through Kharkhiraa. Pictured here is 3 of them seated with Tim soon before we said our final teary goodbyes. . . My dear friends, I hope we meet again. ❤️ . . (Apologies re photo quality) . . . . . #mon#mongolia #kharkhiraa #türgen #uvs #uvsprovince #landofthenomads #rivervalley #horsemen #starrynight #rain #rainynights #sadness #goodbyes #singing #malevoices #hopewemeetagain #dearfriends #languagebarrier #mongol #mongolianmusic #worldmusic #altai
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