Mangrove forest/swamp.

Our last adventure in Colombia was a boat trip in a mangrove forest.

In addition to the strange trees and plants there were many birds hunting for fish.

There were also humans fishing with net.

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To me this was a great way to say farewell to Colombia, so I am glad Cartagena was not our last Colombian experience.

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Botanical garden and butterfly house.

We visited a botanical garden. It was a large area and it was basically a tropical jungle. Frankly I think the idea of combining a jungle with a garden is a bad idea. To reverse a Norwegian saying: You can’t see the trees for the forest.

At the cafe in the botanical garden it was feeding stations for hummingbirds and  to take pictures of them challenged many of us. It was not easy, the birds moved quickly.

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An enclosure with butterflies was more rewarding. A great selection of butterflies made it interesting to take good pictures. Especially one kind was challenging as the colors on the wings were different on the topside as compared to the underside. Bright blue on top and a pattern on the underside. I did not manage to catch the blue side.

Pushkar-camel market.

They are called camels (two humps) but according to what I learned at school, they are dromedary (one hump).

Pushkar has an annual camel market, where also horses and some cows had a place. We went through the market both at sunset and sunrise the next morning. It is difficult to describe the market so I let pictures of the camels do the job.

What I found was special with the horses was the ears. I am in no way a horse person, but I can not remember to have seen horse ears like these.DSCF2861

Of course there were lots of people there as well and many clearly stayed there overnight.

A one of a kind experience that I really enjoyed and will remember.

 

Meeting camels.

In the Gobi we visited a family that had a camel herd and that was a very special experience.

I went into the herd to get close-up pictures and the camels could not have cared less. That is with one exception. Suddenly a huge camel came against me with very determined steps. I must admit that I was unsure what to do. What is the right thing to do when  a big camel come against you. I stood quiet and the camel stopped a couple of meters in front of me and there he stood and watched me.

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It was the alpha male of the herd and I guess he was suspicious to all intruders in his harem. So I had a double portrait taken.

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A few of us had a ride on a camel. I did not, I rode a dromedary in Morocco. The whole family was involved.

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We had lunch in their ger, the food was not remarkable but the surroundings were.

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This was a very special experience and i really enjoyed it. I never thought I would stand face-to-face with an alpha camel male. It was actually worth the whole trip!

The Przewalski horse

The Przewalski horse is the only original wild horse and separated from “our” domestic horse 45000 years ago. It has a different number of chromosomes  but can breed with the domestic horse- The specie was extinct in the wild so all living now descend from 9 of the horses living through the second world was i zoos in Munich and Prag. Through a planned breeding program they were reintroduced to the wild in Khustain Nuruu national park in Mongolia where several hundreds roam in several harem groups.

We drove into the park and were able to see the horse.

Nomads with horses.

We visited a family that had horses as their main animal. They were called nomads, but in my opinion they were not traditional nomads that moved around all the time.They were stationary on the plains during the summer and I think they lived in a village during winter.

They had a herd of horses, some with foals.

I had heard of fermented horse milk to be a special drink in Mongolia. The wife showed us how she milked a horse. It had of course a mare with a foal. They first let the foal suck for a few seconds and the foal was very close all the time. Then she could milk.

Then the milk was fermented in cow skin that was never cleaned to maintain the right bacteria. We tasted it in her best silver together with some sort of cheese. It tasted a bit sour and was surprisingly light.

The father and one son were also busy with the horses.

 

 

South from Ulaanbaatar.

We dove south from Ulaanbaatar into the Gobi desert through steppes, semi-desert before we reached Gobi. It had rained so much that it landscape was quite green, much greener than it used to be, they said. The country was basically empty except herds of animals with the occasional shepherd on horseback or motorbike. The occasional ger could also be seen. The animals were first cows, then sheep, then horses, then goats and in the south camels. It was really difficult to take good pictures but here are some with animals and some without.

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