The drive to Khar Us Lake was a lot more fun than the drive of the day before. The scenery was diverse and ever changing. We saw again some camels, which was quite a while ago, passed a small village and came across some nomads with their large herds of goats, crossing the wide steppe plains.
Khar Us Lake, “black water”, is located in a national park, established in 1997 to protect the surrounding wetlands and some of Asia’s largest reed fields. Khar Us is a fresh water lake and is located more than 1,100 meters above seas level. The area is home to the incredibly rare Saiga antelope, which migrate through the park. I had hoped to be able to have a chance to see them, but it turned out that the area they are seen most often was simply too far away.
Arriving at the lake shores the dry landscape made way for fresh green wetlands. This greenery looked initially perfect for camping, but it turned out that the area was completely infected with mosquitoes and flies, so much that it literally drove us nuts just walking there, let alone sit or camp….
So we headed out to find a more dry area and eventually decided to set up camp at the foot of a few small mountains, again in a stunning natural setting. In the afternoon I decided to climb to the summit of one of the mountains, to enjoy spectacular views of the surroundings.