Day 9 – To Kochker part two

We leave the alpine setting of Barskoon Gorge and drive to a place with a very different terrain, a place called Skazka Canyon.

This area was discovered by happenstance sometime during the last few decades when a taxi driver took a turn off the main road.

The earth formations range from blobby to angular.

Some of the paths are quite challenging

But we stick to those less steep. Yes, I came down this path with a lot of courage or foolishness and much help from the guide. There was no easier way.

After our short hike in the canyon, an eagle hunter showed us how he hunts with his magnificent bird.

He explained that he takes female chicks from the nest at three months and trains them for about three months. The eagles eat only live meat.

He does eagle hunting as a hobby to preserve the traditions of his people. This particular bird is five years old.

At a certain point, after about 15 years, he releases them to the wild so they can procreate. He checks frequently to make sure the eagle can survive. Eagles have only one mate for life. If one dies, the other kills itself.

The hunter went high up on a mountain ledge and let the eagle go while his son ran with a dead jackal to show us how the eagle can spot and pick up prey.

We each had a chance to hold the bird, which was quite heavy.

We had lunch on a yurt at a camp run by the sister of Judith, the woman who runs the felt factory we visited yesterday.

The operators of the yurt camp have worked to get the knowledge required to create the traditional yurt designated as a UNESCO intangible heritage of humanity. Now they are working to get their area designated as a world heritage site partly due to its unique geologic diversity.

I took a photo with Judith’s sister and wished her the best with her UNESCO projects.

Moving on to Kochker, we pass a reservoir and a herd of camels.

It started to rain so we are glad to arrive at our hotel, one that is brand new and quite pleasant.

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