We pack up early and bid farewell to our hosts. We need to start getting some distance in if our new mantra is going to come to fruition; GET TO THE GOBI!!
We immediately pick up a little section of single track right out of the ger camp.
It wasn't a real long section, maybe a mile or so, but what a great way to start the day!!
We liked these single track bridges also.
As far as we could see, the Russians helped ruin some of the Mongolian "culture" or "flare". We were told that during the Russian era, the Russians would literally blast apart Mongolian temples and monuments. We found a few heaps of rubble like this that looked like they were a temple or monument at one time.
The route was smooth and we made good time in the morning getting up over the pass and down into the next valley. We started to skirt a large lake when I realize that we're on the wrong side. Crap!! There goes our fast pace.
GET TO THE GOBI!!! We start scrambling to make a plan so we don't loose too much time backtracking. We decide to take a "short cut". You can probably guess how this goes. At first pretty well with smooth terrain.
Then we start getting into some marshy areas between two lakes that we're trying to squeeze through.
And then the stopper. The river is too deep to cross. Now if we have to turn back we'll loose even more time!!
GET TO THE GOBI!! We chance it and keep pushing deeper into the unknown. We're in a huge meadow trying to avoid the marshy areas. We're looking for a shallow spot in the river to cross it or we're going to try to ride along the river all the way up to the bridge we missed earlier.
We come to a spot that looks promising and I walk across to check it.
I deem it "good to go" and twist the throttle on my all terrain moped. I'm confident I'm going to ride across but then the tires sink into the river bottom and the moped doesn't have enough power to move!! It's deep and the current is flowing pretty strong.
The river bottom was a loose fine gravel and not mud so I was able to get off beside the bike and push it. I was impressed that the bikes would continue running in such deep water especially after the plug wire is wet.
Buuuuuurrrrt pushes across and I help Minxter. Boom boom!! We're on track and only lost a little time and gained an epic navigating/river crossing session!
Now we're on one of the main routes that eventually runs back to the capital of Ulaanbaatar. We though we would make some time here but because the road is so well used, it's totally thrashed!! VERY rough and slow going. This is where we're really missing our KTM suspensions back home.
You know, sometimes it seems like the world is really challenging you and making your goal hard to achieve. Flat tires don't help your progress. We decide that we're going to keep our heads together and just work through it and not get mad. The heckling begins as Buuuuuuurrrrrt starts the stop watch to time the repair. The flat was classified as a rear "class 1 nail", witch indicates only a single small hole. Patched and back on the bike in 15 minutes and 30 seconds. GET TO THE GOBI!!!
All of a sudden we come across pavement!!! Very unexpected. This is a very rare photo where you can actually see our joy of coming in contact with tarmac. GET TO THE GOBI!!!
We ride for another hour and find a camp up on a ridge. Life's good!!
We settle in and enjoy another great campsite. We're really into the swing of things at this point in the trip and figure we could continue traveling like this indefinitely.
171km for the day.