These were great days that ended too soon. Armanbek participated in several of the non-eagle events, so we cheered him on. But his presence there was really to help our three eagle hunters. It was Armanbek who stayed with the eagles at the rock perch and settled them in as the hunters rode down below and prepared to call them to the fist or lure. One of our hunters, Bakht, ended up in second place – at both eagle festivals we attended.
The Monday after the big eagle festival was slated to be election day in Mongolia, so many of the eagle hunters left mid-day on Sunday, hurrying home to be there to vote. We had a long, slow and painful goodbye with our Kazakh friends. I was later disappointed to read that several regions of Mongolia had such a low voter turnout that they were going to have to have re-elections. Here’s a few final images from those last few days in Mongolia.