Mongolia is super remote.
It’s miles away from pretty much everything. Having a Mongolian Lamb dish at the local RSL just didn’t cut it for photographer John Feely. He packed up his everything and skipped town to get deep in the sights and smells that Mongolia had to offer. Six months later he returned with a lifetime of memories and a load of fantastic photos. He’s just had an exhibition in Sydney and I asked him to share his favourite memories and images.
“A local horse race in the remote Altai Mountains, where young boys ride horses for 30km while the local community wait at the finish line betting, selling food, catching up with old friends and hiding from the sand-blasting wind.”
“A family waits at the finish line.”
“This man has herded his family’s animals to this location near Mt. Tsumbagaarav every summer since he found it 45 years ago. He’s spent every day of his life in the saddle. To do this ride with him and his grandson for 2 days was a great honour.”
“Being nomadic appears to come from necessity here, what is liveable and useful one season is deadly the next. This is how a Ger (tent) is set up in their summer location, which is a perfect grassy valley with a stream running through the middle of it in summer. In winter the entire place is buried in snow.”
“This is Agail, a very dear friend that I made in Mongolia. Agali and I went and checked on these eagles a few times over the summer. It was to be his daughter Aisholpan’s first Eagle and Aisholpan subsequently went on to win the Eagle training championships with this eagle a few months later. At one point I had a go at being hoisted up to help. Having a rope around your waist as a safety precaution that is being held by a man that is half your size, doesn’t speak the same language, and can’t see you is a very interesting situation to be in, especially while you’re checking on an eagle.”
“A regular couple heading into town.”
“This is me taking a break from riding cross country. A boy who was out looking after his family herd took this picture. He later rode off with my iPod! Because you can still see people for about 40km on these plains I felt quite powerless seeing him ride away and not being able to do anything about it. I got it back a few days ago with a great big gash in the side of it. He was trying to find out where to put the batteries once it went flat.”