BLOG: Susannah Redman 26th Jul 2016 None>
Col. John Blashford-Snell's Mongolian Adventure 2016
Mongolian Altai Expedition
SIT REP 1 - 7 JULY 2016:
The 23 strong team has now arrived in Ulaanbaatar where the Mongolian scientists and interpreters are joining them.
After a day’s tour of the cultural sites in the Capital, the team will fly 1,100 Kms to Khovd (Hovd), in the west of this vast country. There they will attend the traditional Nadaam festival of archery, riding and wrestling before meeting with their horses and camels on the 11th of July.
SITREP NO 2 - 11 JULY 2016:
Expedition going as planned. Now camped at 2500m. Mosquitoes bad. Hail and heavy rain showers. Successful medical clinic.
SITREP 3 - 14 JULY 2016:
Camp at Namarjin at 2800m. Weather hot and sunny but yesterday we rode through a dramatic thunderstorm. Archaeology team studied newly discovered cave drawings. Many small mammals seen. A rare Mongolian silver vole captured. Measured and released. Horses and camels performing well. Team in good spirits.
SITREP 4 - 20 July 2016:
Expedition successfully completed over 180km on horseback. Now back at Khovd. Preparing for study of Przewalski horses. Numerous wild life including seven Ibex. Several species of voles collected. Rare endangered “cabbage plant” collected at 11,000 ft. Previously unknown tomb of Bronze Age nobleman found. Fascinating visit to Kazakh people and their hunting eagles. Medical and dental aid greatly appreciated.
SITREP 5 - 25 July 2016:
The expedition,often mounted on sturdy Mongolian horses, completed all it's tasks in spite of challenging logistics and testing weather. At Hustain over 30 Przewalski horses were found and there were good sightings of Argali wild sheep, red deer, white tailed gazelles, wild boar, a large male wolf, numerous marmots and small mammals. The ornithologists were able to photograph baby golden eagles and black vultures on their nests. Many other birds including Sakar Falcons were catalogued. Botanists listed over 200 plants and flowers.
Fascinating archaeological sites dating back 3500 years were also studied by a team including two Royal Engineer Lady Captains.
Two surgeons from the Royal College of Surgeons assisted the local people and a Royal Army Dental Corps Major carried out many extractions.
School books and reading glasses were distributed to remote communities.
The expedition ended with a special Burns Supper at which Stahlys Haggis and traditional Mongolian food was served in the moonlight.
Blog by Susannah Redman