It was an unpleasant, though interesting hour and a half, walking alongside the river and the construction and the housing estates before we reached the Ger camp a the foot of the mountains.
From there we climbed quickly, though not as quickly as we would have done in Japan, or indeed if we had taken one of the other spurs up. Suddenly we were once again breathing fresh air, and could touch trees. It came as a bit of a surprise to us that autumn was here. The birch were turning yellow and the whole area had a faint yellow tinge to it. The larch were still green but everything else was beginning to turn. In the city, there is virtually nothing to turn, everywhere you look building and concrete, no green spaces at all, nothing to tell you the seasons are moving except for the weather, the nip in the air in the morning and the chill as the sun goes down in the evening.
|A home made hammer for knocking the tree to get the pine cones out and the pine nuts collected. The nuts are now officially protected in an effort to encourage regrowth but it doesn't seem to stop people.|
The entire walk took about 6 hours, and finished as all good walks should in a pub. The general consensus (and there were a good few of us) was that while the walk was lovely, we could live without the slog through building sites and along roads so that maybe taxis to the ger camp at the base of the hill would be the way to go. The whole thing, home to hill to pub was about 20km so if I'm to use it as a run I may have to brave the roads.
Once up on the tops you could see a long way and it was beautiful.
|Bogd Khan itself?|
|we were all pleased to be out of the city|
The city though was never that far away, and as we swung round and back towards the north it once again swung into view.
A great day out ending in the Irish Castle, which served good beer, good food and good company.