Aerial Photography, No Plane
Ever since flying into Khovd one week ago, I have been itching for a hike to see the area around the town, especially the steep ridges that surround the northeast and northwest corners. It's a bigger commitment than the hour or two I have had available during the week, but yesterday (Saturday) Judy and I took off to see what we could find.
We hiked northeast out of town through what looks like the town dump, climbing gradually until we reached a cemetery. Then up the end of the bowl to a pass where we had lunch and a view north to an area where fields are laid out beside the Buyant River. (There are still cabbages standing. I have been wondering where the food at the market comes from, since it is so dry here.) Then, after lunch, up. We wove our way up the steep side of the ridge to come to a spot where we could see, at the same time, the city behind us and the northern edge of Har Us Lake in front of us in the distance. Between us and the lake were miles of rock and sand. In the flat bottom the river braided its way north and would eventually meet up with the Khovd River before emptying into the lake.
In a week, we have not heard a single airplane fly over. Except for the sound of an occasional truck or tractor, we were left to listen to our own breathing—and the sound of air whistling through crow wings as they buzzed us on our perch.