This wild, inhospitable territory provided welcome refuge to a people hardened by centuries of abuses and forced into flight, its freezing winters and treacherous passes discouraging conquest and punishing intruders.
Dust, and the smell of dust, is everywhere. It defines every crease and seam of my riding gear like a monochrome relief map of the mountains we are riding, my boots and gloves are white rimed with it and my face a grimy mask of the stuff.
We did have a load of blog posts, covering all sorts of things and stretching back several years. But a glitch in the matrix has meant that everything got deleted by some horrid online gremlin, and so we are starting afresh.