From last nights camping spot the road climbed through a series of river valleys over increasingly rough road or tracks to the highest point so far on this trip, 8660'. Along the way we passed through a couple of small villages and saw the inevitable herds of cows, sheep, goats, and camels. Late in the morning we were waved down by a pair of young boys who were out patrolling their herds on horse back. We were a little surprised that one of them spoke reasonably good English. Among other things he told us that he was "Kazak not Mongolian". We gave them some treats we carry for just such an occassion - immediately he asked (via sign language) if we had something to drink. We gave him a carton of fruit juice to which his response was - "one for my friend". He will be a successful animal trader some day.
Just after the high point of todays road we stopped for lunch and shortly after a group of three tourists on motocycles approached coming from the west. The first two sped past but the third seemed to be having some engine trouble and he stopped about 100 yards away from us. Soon one of his companions came back and we could hear they exchange "whats wrong" .. "dunno". We knew immediatey they were Australians. Eventually the third rider returned and after finishing our lunch we went over to chat. In all there were four of them traveling together from Greece, through Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Turkenistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgystan. While we were chatting to them a larger group of bikers arrived. A group of Dutch tourists and a single Turkish rider who had joined them along the way.
More kilometers and more bad roads brought us to the shores of Tolbo Nuur a lake about 60km south of Olgii where we spent the afternoon and night.