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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Colebatch, Oct 18, 2012.
woooow...amazing picture this one....
No its not ... Burabai is north of Astana and the home of the annual Kazakh bikers festival. We were east of Astana at a place near Bayanaul
While the other guys were on their way back to the hotel in Aktash, I had some soldering done by the mechanic I know there.
CIedema stopped in at the hotel on his way to Mongolia with his wife, and set up tent at the back of the hotel along with Prutser and Beamster.
The news was now that Rod would be with us tomorrow morning.
So we were all set to continue the journey. Our amazing, beautiful time in the Altai was up .... tomorrow we hit Mongolia.
Just caught up... I miss my family and kids already...
The good news is I got through the RR up to this point in one big gulp, the bad news is I am now, once again, a virtual hostage in a Colebatch thread, waiting like a junkie for my next fix...
Nothing to add, this is about as good as it probably gets when it comes to RRs, Walter has perfected the art of morphing a moto journey into forum opium, and, amazingly, the other 4 members have amalgamated beautifully into the mix, each bringing another great perspective of the trip,
Walter, Terry, Rod, Prutser and Beemster, thank you for this gem...
Excellent Post Beemster!!! Beautiful pictures too.... simply spectacular!
I have been following this Ride Report through its 132+ pages, and am entranced. Already thinking about a (road rather than off-road) expedition in the direction of Kazakhstan in 2014, as a result of this great report. Thank you all for taking the trouble to document this.
Kudos to you guys (and Beamster!) making it past that knarly, rocky, uphill hiking trail! I'm amazed those loaded bikes could get through that!
I hate falling in that sort of terrain. Looks like you guys (and gal) Aced it.
I've been a big fan of Colebatch's reports for quite a while. But I especially like this one because the other riders have such great input - in stories, in photos, and in humor!. Fantastic job all around - kudos to everyone!
Like a few others I've put off reading this report to a few/many hours ago. I am now caught up and fully engrossed with your adventure. They you for sharing this with ADV community.
It will be a long time coming when I will be able to enjoy anyone elses adventure again. If this was a movie I am sure it would be rated equal to the classic "Gone with the Wind" Bravo!
I love single tracks and I don't mind river crossings (anymore)
What an amazing ride report... I hope someday I will be able to do a ride of this scale.
It was good to meet the Sibirsky Extreme crew - the Altai is beautiful and even the Asphalt road is a great ride. Theirs is certainly a remarkable trip, one I hope to do in the coming years. Aktash was pretty cool, the border guards all live there and you could hear them practising at the Rifle Range. I have to say to say that our trip would really was made much easier by the resources that Walter has provided to the rest of us, I certainly would have had second thoughts without these.
The view from the our tents.
The Crew (and me)
I think this was the girl who cleaned Walter's room everyday
Ready. For. A. Big. Update.
Is that what they're calling it nowadays?
Never thought of clipping clothes pins on a cord and hanging around the neck. Yes, I did study that too.
Yes, she sure looked fine scrubbing my floor.
Did she do a good job cleaning the pipes too?
I should add that my wife actually took that photo - before everyone thinks I am dirty old man!
As we were having breakfast with ciedema and his wife, the distinctive sound of Rod's bike could be heard motoring down the highway. The good thing about being located in this particular hotel with its highway frontage, is every motorcycle coming into or going out of Mongolia was heard and seen by me for a week. We werent expecting Rod quite so early (Rod is a much earlier riser than the rest of us) as he was still 3-4 hours ride away from us when he stopped to camp the previous night. I was expecting him around lunchtime. So while Rod is all kitted up in his riding gear in the pic above, we were all still in our breakfast clothes. So we invited him to join us for breakfast.
After breakfast we bid ciedema farewell and heard the lovely sound of a LC8 heading off towards Mongolia. I had loads of packing still to do and we didn't head off for the Mongolian border for another hour and a half - around midday. We stopped in at Kosh Agach, the last chance saloon before Mongolia, and filled up with 96 octane fuel, lots of camping food and biscuits. Then it was on towards the border itself. It was after 2pm when we reached the border, and had to wait around a while. Think a lot of the staff were still on lunch. The important thing here was to make sure the carnet that covered Prutser, Beamster and Rod's bike was stamped out of Russia. Then they could enter Mongolia individually, and without the carnet.
The Russian customs guys didnt seem to be totally sure what to do with the carnet (Russia / Kazakhstan customs union normally doesnt require carnets for vehicles, but since the bikes were imported en masse, without any of the owners with them it was the easiest way), so we just made sure he stamped as many places as possible so we could get the carnet back to Sambor.
Then we hit the Mongolian border. The other 4 guys sailed through, but I had a problem. My Mongolian visa and Russian visa were in two different passports and the Mongolian border guy said this was not allowed. I argued with him for over half an hour ... demanding he show me where it says its not allowed and telling me I had done it this way before many many times in previous years, so I didnt believe him. He kept saying he cant stamp me into Mongolia as it wont be clear where I came from. I kept staying well I am stamped out of Russia so I am staying here till you either show me in writing where Mongolian law says the visa for the previous country must be in the same passport, or till he lets me in. In the end, he called the capital, UlaanBaatar, and got come advice from someone higher up, who told him to stamp my passport and let me in.
Then we had to pay out Mongolian environmental tax, and finally, at about 4:30pm we were free in Mongolia.
We did less than 10 km in Mongolia before I turned of the main road / track / cross country route ... and headed into the hills.
Here's Terry blasting up into the hills, while the main track to the border town of Tsagaannuur lies in the background at the bottom of the valley.