Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Arriving back to the parking lot some excited local ran up to show us the video of the Ibek they just saw on the hillside! We consoled ourselves by making lunch there before we headed out again. Our driver speaks no English and despite that we managed to communicate well with a combination of drawings, google translate and hand gestures.

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    From here we back tracked to the main track and then made a left on the Dugany Am or Dungenee Valley road. This is a beautiful wide green valley to start and the road is gravel and a bit curvy. There is one steep climb that the Prado had a challenge with.

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    The valley gets narrower and narrower and the road is one direction (south) only. About half way the road starts to be very washed out and in fact the river is flowing down it for several km.

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  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The narrowest part is near the end of the valley and the truck just fits thru. This is blocked with ice until July and can be impassable even after the ice has melted.

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  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    When you are leaving the valley you are dumped out onto the plain with a number of tracks. Then we continued for 20 km on a track across the semidesert grassland and you cross over the main paved road we had left earlier on the other side of the mountains. Here the track continues west.

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    We were ahead in the truck and really flying. The driver kept a keen eye for the guys to see if they were behind us. We saw the headlights lights, but just after this we did not know they stopped. Dan’s bike was dead (loose battery ground again) and poor Trevor had to book it to catch up to us. 120 km/h on the track can be hairy.

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  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    After about 100 Km we could start to see some of the beginnings of the Gobi Dunes.

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    It was now 615 and time to quit for the day. We searched around for about 15 min and found a flat spot at the base of a ridge that was out of the wind. We set up camp and cooked up a pasta dinner. The driver has his gear to bed down in the back of the truck.

    We woke up to light rain that became heavy as we were packing up. Luckily we could shelter under the rear door of the truck to get some breakfast and coffee in us. The driver had a butane stove and so when we woke he had hot water ready for us. we packed all the gear in the back and all 5 of us got in the truck to wait it out. You could see the black clouds coming at us, but after 20 minutes it lightened and after 30 it stopped raining all together.

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    Who thought you would need rain gear in one of the driest places on earth.

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  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Our plan is to get to the big dunes and then to camp at the Flaming cliffs.

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    We set out again west and it was about 50 km to “the big brown sand”or Khongoryn Els, which are 180 km from DZ.

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    The dunes are up to 300 m high, 12 km wide, and 100 km long.

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  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The track is initially gravel, but gets progressively more sandy especially after we turned south toward the actual dunes.

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  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Trevor had one sand nap and the Africa twin took about 15 min to recover before it would start. It sure was nice to have the truck as Dan was way ahead and we could turn around to see what was keeping Trevor and help him out before Dan turned back.

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    The worst of the sand was about 10 km and then in fact the track got better after that on the way to the big dunes. Here the guys had some fun with hill climbing the sand, but it was pretty steep and pretty soft. Certainly not like riding our dirt bikes in Oregon with paddle tires!!

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    DAN'S HIGH MARK ON THE BIG DUNES ON VIDEO HERE


  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Now it was time to enjoy the view and for some “noodle soups” and canned fruit salad for us and lunch for the bikes.

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    SavannahCapt, MaNDan and gperkins like this.
  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We wanted to make it as far and the flaming cliffs tonight and this was about 105 km.

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    It is nice to have the local driver as he knows the best tracks and routes that would be the most fun to ride. We set off north east and back into the national park. The track is nice and firm and quite curvy. This cairn is piled with Ibek horns.

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    SavannahCapt, MaNDan and powderzone like this.
  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    After the National park you are back our in the semi desert with so many options!!! We stopped at this animal water station to clean up our pasta dishes from last night. There are a few Ger camp along the way.


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    We stopped in Bulgan town for gas as it was easier than the jerry in the truck, diesel, cold [​IMG], and a bit more water. It is 14 km more to Bayanzag or the Flaming Cliffs. There have been a huge number of dinosaur bones and eggs found here ( most are in the Museum of Natural History in NYC) . We had been told it was windy there and the driver had called someone who spoke English to see if we really wanted to go there or just back to DZ and shorten the tour to 2 days. We said we wanted to at least check it out. The guys are pretty tired and another 100 km off road at this point would be a challenge. We blasted across the very flat steppe and in the distance you could see these small red formations. We thought is this it. It is not until you arrive there that you can appreciate the beauty and geology.

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  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It was very windy up on the ridge, but the driver suggested we go around and down to the base of the cliffs. We did this down a steep hard mud road and around the base of the cliffs, but the best spot seamed to be near the place where we entered.

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    It was still gusting and since there was mostly sand it was a challenge to find a spot to peg the tents. In fact our tent was secured with rocks on each peg we thought until a bit gust tried to blow it away. We moved to more solid ground and the pegs held much better.

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    We cooked up a big beef stew with couscous.

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  12. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Toronto On
    Another incredible update. Thanks again.
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  13. j2beers

    j2beers Taxpayer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Another one for the list. Well done an safe travels.
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  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Thanks so much!! Nice to hear again from some fellow Canadians!!! Sara
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  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The driver is a bit of a big man and when we saw him heading up the steep cliff for what we thought was to see the sun set we all B lined up there. The sun set and the light on the cliffs was amazing, but he had really gone up there for cell coverage!

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  16. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
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    422
    Location:
    Perth Australia
    Fantastic !!!
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  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Thanks! Can NOT wait to get to OZ!!!
  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    As soon as the sun went down the wind died down. This was except for about 5 min of hard gusting wind and heavy rain just as we were getting ready for bed. This meant a hasty retreat to the tents, but it was literally over in minutes and there was no wind for the rest of the night. We had a calm nights rest in the silence and a beautiful sunny morning for a leisurely breakfast.

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    We set off back around the cliffs and then up the less steep slope to get back up to the plain.

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  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It is 90 km to town and this is directly across the steppe. There are literally dozens of parallel tracks at times. We came across a few ger camps too.

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    Three day tour of the Gobi

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  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,068
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Arriving back to the hotel we were very happy to have a long hot shower as we has sand everywhere. We even had some camel races in the dining room.

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    It is Sept 10 and we have 4 days to be at the Chinese border. There are 2 choices 522 km on a track north east to the nearest pavement at Shainsand on which it will be sandy and washboard when not. This could take 3-4 days. This is still 214 km from the border. The other option is 1010 km on the paved road north then south to Sainshand and this will be an easy 2 days. Orvar is still not well either. We all opted for the easy route as no one wants to risk the time line for China. This means we have a day here and the guys decided to go out and do the loop thru Dungany Canyon again.

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