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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 40)

Mongolia – Gobi Exit

Having ticked the box we needed to head south to get fuel, the distances long and the terrain difficult we were travelling between towns for supplies and wild camping to make the most of the unforgiving and brutal place, this means we had to be absolutely prepared with max water and fuel so we did not get caught out as this could be deadly.

Riding with the visor open was like sticking your head into and oven, I don’t know how hot it was but we did not stop for long for lunch etc, we also drunk our water down and still felt dry although we had plenty.     

Stock up and lunch, dude with the Chinese bike in the background just broke his kickstart off

After floundering around in sandpits all day we called it quits at what was the only shelter, this was in amongst some small brushes about 1.5 meters high, everything around us was sand and flat, with the wind it was nice to find semi shelter.

Home for the night
Always complete with the moon making an appearance

We had travelled some 250 km from Sevrei a small desert town, the abrupt mountain scenery on each side of the valley stunning and the Gobi dunes pretty outstanding all the way up.

This of course meant some serious riding and serious conditions and you have to keep your wits about you, a problem that came to light was my Garmin map of Mongolia had a big cross hatch section (later called the Tarten square) to the China border so I was flying blind, we did have google maps and but neither worked that well out there, thankfully Lobkes paper map showed a few but not all roads and we managed to get to where we needed to go however there was some turn backs and circles done.

We did rely heavily on coordinates which is something I really had not needed to do, this of course shows a direct overland line only and when you see a mountain in front or massive swamp this does not work, coupled with the Mongolian outback tracks you can be confronted with 20 plus options.

Getting to Bogd we needed to tank up with water and our obstacle was a river crossing which turns out not to be Lobkes strong point, the river was about 600 mm deep at the deepest and not flowing fast so I was more than happy to do that to tank the water bottles/bladder only to find the pump station closed…no stress we had enough assuming everything went to plan but at 35 plus degrees it is always nice to have something up your sleeve.

No water but the gas station was open so I filled 45 in case Lobke ran out so it wasn’t a wasted river crossing.   

Good to clean 45, a clean engine loses heat much easier than an insulated dirty engine so this was a bonus.

We left town and came to a sign, Ulaanbaatar 650 km, there were approx. 15 options plus all other tracks, it is easy just to take the centre road and hope and sometimes it even works.

Count the tracks LOL

I have found out here in Mongolia the chances of making a fuckup are pretty good as paper maps, Google maps, and Garmin all have differing views on what is there…..then your eyes and brain tell you a different story again.

Add to this dehydration and hunger and you have an interesting mix of intellectual mayhem rolling around in the head office upstairs.

This was a fast stretch of good surface and we could only workship these bits knowing it wouldn't last too long

This is desert butchery, yes it is meant to be and they simply round up the animals they want and literally use everything except the skull and the low front haunches. Everything is used, guts and all.  

Would love to have bought these skulls home
Flat with the occasional obstacle

Camels, everywhere, the first few where WOW. Next thing we are driving between them, amoung them and beside them, they stand tall and with the camera poked in their face they actually played up to it and almost put on a show with them pushing each other aside for prime position.   

Two humps for water storage
Yo baby work it w o r k i t....

The heat was full-on and both Lobke and I were feeling it after a few days of hard riding, long days, setting up our tents and packing down a camp each day as well as having to cook a feed at night before hitting the sack. I know it is a first world complaint getting tired from doing what you love but it does make you weary and I can say it enough the heat wears you down faster with both of us downing so much water and feeling like we didn't have enough. The result is fatigue.  

Harry (Lobkes bike also feeling it and had a rest)
Like a boss and back on form
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis