Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Into Dzungaria

Monday May 10th.
In travelling north across the eastern end of the Tian Shan mountains into Dzungaria, we have definitely moved into horse country. The numerous flocks of multi-coloured sheep are guarded by Kazakh horsemen riding lanky raw-boned horses with ewe necks, although in keeping with progress, they are sometimes replaced by motorbikes.

Horses are a common means of transport - here is a horse at the ready outside a local shop.

The demon boy racer below was very keen to show off his speedy 'zou ma' or pacer, though I imagine a fully trained Zorbee could give him a run for his money.

The grazing is very sparse, and consists mainly of scattered shrubs and herbage rather than the thick carpet of grass we are used to in the UK. We were warned not to let our horses eat the lush looking vegetation below - does anyone know what it is? It is a fact that it had not been touched by local grazing animals, though Zorbee seemed none the worse when he was caught filling his belly after an overnight escape.

By an old watch tower set in typical country at Sangequanzi

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