Haven’t posted in a while. Been busy moving house, sorting matrimonial issues and riding the "parts donor" Transalp (an 87 shed: You'll recall the trip bike is an 88 model with a 98 bodykit)
from snowy Bulgaria (Doug's in Idilevo http://motosapiens.org/moto/?q=en/node/1
) to Istanbul/Turkey, where it was a bit less snowy, only just though! Met some great Turkish bikers from http://www.facebook.com/groups/kuzgunmotor/
also called http://www.facebook.com/groups/turkeybiker/
Anyway, I digress. After sorting the bike and enjoying the R and R time it was time to head through the Altai region towards the border with Mongolia at Tashanta. There’s quite a few pictures. Hopefully they give a flavour of this beautiful part of the world.
Truck on a bridge
I was impressed with myself! I managed to track down some real (Russian) duct tape. I needed it. The bike is held together with it and cable/zip ties :-)
The new Russian chip and pin reader
I met these nice Russian cyclists from Ekaterinburg on their summer vacation. The lady spoke good English and told me the Russian for tyre changer:
This is where I probably was a bit heavy handed and blew out the sprocket carrier bearing which caused a few issues after I reached Ulaan Baatar.
Spotted this outfit on the side of the road and pulled over. A couple of minutes later this young lad rocks up with a container of petrol, pours it in the tank, kicks the engine over and rides off.
In the next village, I spot him again with 2 girls: One in the chair and one on the back. Bikes = babes?
Wow, another road user, shortly before the checkpoint where I wasn’t permitted to ride my off-pavement “shortcut” any further. The Russian Army officer spoke Spanish (!) and mine was ok enough to be told I was riding too close to the Kazakh border. Bollocks, I had to ride all the way back to the main road!
Clarkson/ Hammond/ May were ‘ere.
Altai river scene
Overtook these Russian chaps on an Africa Twin. It had an eclectic mix of body panels. Why are they carrying a totally shagged rear tyre on the back?
Ok, looks like I’m riding the bridge…
Sunset just before Mongolia border.
The next morning. I had just ridden 2 miles perpendicular to the paved road and pitched my tent, because I reckoned it would be better (and cheaper) than sleeping in the border town.
Will be in touch again much more frequently than since the last instalment.
See you later.