In January we drove to Mongolia’s easternmost aimags (provinces): Dornod and Sukhbaatar. The land we drove through was sparsely populated compared to central Mongolia), and that’s saying something. Not only did we see few gers or homes, we rarely saw any sheep, cows, goats, or horses.
I was most amazed by the gazelle everywhere. On the road between the capitals of Donrod and Sukhbaatar we saw hundreds of them in the fields. When planning the trip weren’t sure how easy it would be to find them — wild animal populations in Mongolia have suffered with hunting, poaching, and competition with growing numbers of domestic animals.
The eastern steppe was flatter than other parts of Mongolia, with fields gold and some rolling hills. There was a little snow, usually no more than six inches. The driving was good save one incident. More on that in another post.
On the road to the east, hawks lined the pavement at intervals for for miles, perched on wooden poles that look like they were put there just for the hawks: