Trip through Turkey, Iran, Stans, Russia, Mongolia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by eustachius, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Golden_Cliff

    Golden_Cliff Adventurer

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    Thank you so much for sharing excellent RR.:clap
  2. downdog

    downdog Adventurer

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    Epic :lurk Beautiful places. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
  3. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    In Iran English and French. Young people in towns speak some English. Girls always better than boys. In towns you will meet educated people who had been abroad to do their studies. Often they would speak French. And in general, people are helpful and interested in you, as a traveller. So when I stop somewhere in a town and ask for a hotel, there is someone who will hop on his moped and show me the way and talk to the 'receptionist' and so on.

    From Turkmenistan on it's Russian, mostly. My knowledge of Russian was what you can learn in a three-months course, which was not much, in my case. I could ask simple questions and give some information about myself and my trip, that was it and there was no grammar involved. It was words and chunks of phrases.
    I managed to read Cyrillic, but very slowly. When approaching road signs with the names of towns written on them, I was busy reading the first and didn't have the time to read the second and third.
    Menus in restaurants, what a pain! I often gave up and had the usual soup and bread and tea. I had very good soups throughout Russia. When there were other diners and what they were eating looked good to me, I would order the same.
    Anyway, I had not planned a 'gourmet'-trip.
    In Mongolia, riders might stop when we were putting up our tents and after some futile attempts to communicate, ride off and wave us good-bye.

    At border posts, it's not so difficult. passport, document motocycle, etc.
  4. blackcaps

    blackcaps Do it alone

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    Out of human interest: What was his name? Which motorcycle? How did he reach Barnaul? How did you meet?
  5. trailtosakhalin

    trailtosakhalin Adventurer

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    very nice pics !
  6. slaterock

    slaterock Adventurer

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    Thanks for sharing a part of the world were some of us will never reach!
  7. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    Hi Blackcaps,
    that's a lot of human interest. It's Paul and he was on a Honda Dominator 500cc which he rode across Ukraine, Russia and Siberia all the way to Barnaul. He's my brother in law.
    If you have any 'human interest' in my second travel companion, don't hesitate to ask.
    I hope I answered your questions.
  8. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    Had a look at trailtosakhalin. Looks great, big trip ahead. Good luck!
  9. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    We were on the Chuysky Trakt, which is a trunk road down to the Mongolian border at Tsagaannuur.Beautiful road. The landscape of the Altay looks very much like the Alps,the houses are a lot different, though. They are small and always made of wood. There is plenty around. Maybe the Alps looked a bit like the Altay before mass tourism.

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    I forgot to say that many of the pictures you are going to see from now on were taken by my travel mates. Special thanks to them.

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    This was our 'hotel' for the next 3 days. We had not planned any more stops before Mongolia, but the radiator of the Mitsubishi had a leak.

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    There was a group of land surveyors who had rented the Gastiniza. They were working for Gazprom and planning a pipeline along the Chuysky Trakt leading into Mongolia. They left early in the morning to get their data which they processed on their laptops in the afternoon. Great people all of them.

    We were waiting for a new radiator. Solding didn't work

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    Did we drink some vodka with those guys? Oh, yes, we did.

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    And we had some time to go for a stroll in the neighbourhood.

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    This is the old bridge of the Trakt.

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    When the new radiator arrived we mounted it and continued. We had spent three memorable days in fine company.

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    We met those bikers (Australia/New Zealand, if I remember correctly) who had crossed Mongolia from east to west. They had some bad weather but liked it.

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    It looked like rain, but we stayed dry.

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    We are leaving the main road to find a place to camp.

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    Perfect place for camp.

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    Getting ready for the last leg to the border.

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    Many of those around in the area.

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    Last stop before leaving Russia. We wanted to buy some foodstuff to carry with us.

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    After crossing the Russian border(which was fast) there are about 20 kms of track to the Mongolian border. No more asphalt. Yeah!

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    Getting into Mongolia didn't take too long, about one hour. We changed some dollars with one of the young ladies at the customs and were heading for the next restaurant.

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    Wasn't so bad, but we paid way too much. And there was a distinctive smell to the place.

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    We had to buy insurance right after the border.

    Maybe you want to know what happened to Ruedi and Adrian, the Swiss bikers on their GSs. We didn't see them again on this trip; they went on to Ulan Bator and made it safely back home. We met in Austria when they came through.

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    That's shortly before we split.
  10. wingnut11

    wingnut11 generally strange

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    Great stuff! Thanks for taking us along.
  11. c.job

    c.job n00b

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    Great Report.

    Good to see some Austrians do trips like that.

    Waiting for more:clap
  12. mart´n

    mart´n Adventurer

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    Hope to be able to drive to Mongolia within a 5 year period - thx for bringing some more inspiration to my future trip, even though we haven´t gotten to the "Mongolian part" yet. :clap

    Great mc you brought along too - simple and hardworking bike without any failures, what more can you ask for :-)
  13. potski

    potski Wiley Wanderer

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    Amazing trip and ride report; riden on the amazingly competent but modest Transalp !

    Thanks for sharing your adventure :clap

    Cheers
    Potski :freaky
  14. BluNozr

    BluNozr Been here awhile

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    Nice report Eustachius. I look forward to reading about the rest of the ride and seeing some more photos.



    Blunozr

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  15. trailtosakhalin

    trailtosakhalin Adventurer

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    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=4 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset">Originally Posted by trailtosakhalin [​IMG]
    very nice pics !
    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Had a look at trailtosakhalin. Looks great, big trip ahead. Good luck!

    @Eustachias thnks first look at yours trip :D
  16. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    On the first day in Mongolia we went as far as Ölgii, which is about 100 kms from the border. It was a chilly, windy ride over fast tracks, and very different from what we had seen in the Russian Altay. There are not many trees and grass is sparse. Dark clouds were threatening, but we arrived in the Blue Wolf Camp in Ölgii without getting wet.

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    This was our ger for 2 nights.

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    XT660 Ténéré from GB and KTM 950 or 990 (you know better than me) from Italy.

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    We walked into town to get some more local money and food and to have a look at the market.

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    Nothing we could use but we got some metres of rope in case we had to tow off one of the vehicles.

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    Why not take the plane to UB and tour Mongolia on one of these Chinese bikes?

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    After 2 nights in Ölgii we continued on to Khovd. The landscapes were quite spectacular. It's wide open spaces with the mountain range of the Mongolian Altay to the west (3000 to 4000 metres in altitude).

    There are many of these places of worship along the roads. There were clouds and it was windy, but it was the start of a beautiful day on the bikes.
  17. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    We are going south along the Tolbo Nuur (lake)

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    where we meet this group of Kazakh tourists in a Volkswagen Passat. They were having a break, enjoying the view and a cigarette or two.

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    We were turning left to Khovd.

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    I always take my time and try not to get wet feet when I have to cross water.

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    Our picnics in Mongolia were basic, some sausage, cheese, bread and as a special treat - mixed pickles. Snickers, Mars, and Bounty as dessert.

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    He liked the hand-rolled fag. Not much conversation was possible when we met Mongolians. We showed our admiration for their horses and they did the same with our bikes and then they would ride on.

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    This was in our hotel in Khovd. When we went back from UB to Austria, we noticed how many time-zones we had covered.

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    There are many yurts around the main part of town, it's like the suburbs of Khovd and it's mostly people who have moved to the town after they had lost their livestock in an extremely harsh winter.

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    We were invited to some fermented mare milk [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

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    German biker who had made it all the way to Mongolia on his Moto-Guzzi California side-car.

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    After three nights in Khovd we went up north to Ulaangom. We wanted to go to UB on the northern route.

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    Looking back south, Khovd is somewhere behind the mountains.

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    Truck carrying fuel. Fuel can be a problem in Mongolia. A few times we could only find 80 octane, we didn't notice any problems with the engines.

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    We were getting hungry and looking for a restaurant. It was not here, but close by. This place is called Ölgii, on the Ölgii Nuur, some 60 kms south of Ulaangom.
  18. blackcaps

    blackcaps Do it alone

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    Body language tells "too small".
  19. locorider

    locorider Loco, pero no estúpido!

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    Hola! Great report Eustachius! Quite an adventure! Gorgeous pics and best of all, you are riding one of the best bikes for this kind of trip. The XT660 looks great but the reliabilty of the TA and its smoothness is priceless. Keep it coming!

    I considered once the Mitas, which I can get from suppliers in Canada, but I heard that they are hard and kind of slippery on wet pavement. Anyway, thats a matter of choice and likes, and ultimately, it fullfiled its purpose.

    I'm stranded on this island, but will get out in the near future. Ride safe!

    Question: Is the dollar the currency prefered alond the way for exchange?
  20. eustachius

    eustachius Adventurer

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    Yes, you are right. Or, legs too long.