It was the second morning out on my one-week camping trip last August.We had stayed the previous night at the ger of my driver and his family, who lavished on me piles of white foods…aruul, airag, urum (dried yogurt, fermented mare’s milk, clotted cream) and more.
As we were heading west towards what I had been told was a beautiful lake, I spotted a large herd of yaks not too far from the road. Puugii, who turned out to be a great driver, pulled over and stopped. I got out to take pictures and almost immediately saw three herders coming our way at a gallop. They pulled up, all dressed in del and boots, looking very dashing, and stopped. What a photo op! I asked Puugii to ask them if I could take some pictures. There was a little hesitation, but then they nodded and I got to work, knowing already that I would be getting multiple paintings from this encounter.
I didn’t realize until I got home and took a closer look that this mal chin (herder) was checking me out with a look of calm appraisal.