A solo trip to Mongolia on a 125cc

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by guerreronegro, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    Ouch! That is a royal rip off! But at 0,11 cents/l I guess you could consider this money to be funded from the savings on gas…

    did you have any idea beforehand about how much money it would take to cross the border?
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  2. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn @guerreronegro, catching up after being out for a 7 day ride and can’t believe what a pain in the arse getting into Turkmenistan was. Good thing you can have a laugh about it now. Not that I’d likely be near there in my lifetime, but I can assure you I’d skip that nightmare :lol2:lol2

    Must have been a bit surreal to travel like that, glad you were able to stay hydrated and caffeinated at the same time, not easy to do.

    Look forward to the next update :thumb
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  3. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Adventurer

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    It is indeed not a cheap country to visit. I had calcultated an estimate of about 200 USD between the LOI and the visa. I also heard the ferry crossing was not an easy one but never to this extent. I thought to do the same itinereary you did originally but for some reason I decided to include Turkmenistan in the end. How was crossing from Georgia to Russia? I met another Spaniard up ahead and he told me he had to wait also for a long time and that the staff there were extemely rude.

    When the country you are visiting is run by a dentist who happens to sing rap then there is no other way to look at it.

    That aside, like other isolated countries it is interesting nonetheless to see how these people live and to what extent does the dictatorship facade actually goes. Ashgabat is a good example of that.
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  4. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    I think you are confusing me with another inmate, I have never travelled in these regions.

    Quite the character, this rapping dentist-dictator.…a fine example of reality being more absurd than any satire could be…

    I look forward to hearing more about your experience with the real life over there!
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  5. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Adventurer

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    At this point the caffeine effect was starting to wear out and my head was aching. If I would not found company today, I would certainly have found a place to set the tent. The bike’s headlights barely lighten up the black asphalt and I had to stick in parallel with the Suzuki to have some decent visibility. Not that the pavement was in bad state, but it looked as if it were polished and every now and then there were minor potholes. The one good thing was that the almost 100 Farenheit reached during the day was starting to dissipate and it now felt fresher.

    Ashgabat is a sub real city. Riding its massive avenues with white buildings at night makes you feel as if you were in a post apocalliptic scenario with very little traffic around. We had not decided which place to spend the night and even though there was a humble hostel in iOverlander we went ahead and check the famous 5 star hotels in the city centre. I was exhausted from riding and decided to stay at the lobby where I could connect briefly to the Internet and check if my VPN was working. Pedro and Sofia went upstairs to check one of the rooms just to have a sneak peek of what 5 stars meant to the Turkmens. The hotel lobby looked luxurious but definitely not worth the 5 stars when compared to the west equivalents or Dubai. The room turned out to be the same and not worth the 180 USD they were asking per night. There were some rally participants however parked outside. I guess when travelling with more people you can apply some economies of scale. We found them outside and they told us to be aware of secret police when taking pictures around the city as they were stopped to make sure they deleted everything on their cameras.

    We went to check the other place and they offered us a simple room for 15 USD including laundry. Since the room had 4 beds, we shared it, so it was dirt cheap. This must have been the only hostel in Ashgabat as for what everyone had told us, hotels are heavily regulated in this country. One team almost got themselves in trouble with the authorities for accepting an invite of a local to sleep in their apartments. Not only them could have been detained, but also the locals could have been incarcerated as far as we were told. We went for a brief walk around the area after checking in, but everything was deserted. There was literally nobody around. We later learnt there was a curfew in place and since me particularly I was exhausted I decided to go to bed and spend some time during the day visiting the city and sorting out the vista to Tajikistan.

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  6. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Adventurer

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    My bad, that was directed at @G B
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  7. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Adventurer

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    Many days in this trip felt exhausting but I remember the last one being one of the toughest. Due to the lack of sleep it felt more as if I had booked a clubbing vacation in Ibiza rather than a motorcycle trip. An advantage of going east is that the time zones favor the rider. My internal clock woke me up quite early and since I was the first I decided to go by myself to explore the city in search hopefully of an Internet café to get my online visa.

    Ashgabat in the day is even more bizarre. I was able to see most of the buildings were abandoned with not so many people in the streets either. It was almost as the movie The Interview with everybody in the streets almost as if pretending to be part of a big act. The capital city is big in extension being everything in immaculate state. Compared to other places visited so far everything looked clean and all of the white buildings and cars are definitely interesting to observe in first person. Real state in Ashgabat, as many other cities is expensive and the job opportunities did not seem to abundant so that was my theory behind so many buildings being unoccupied.

    I found an Internet café which happened to be run by the state. I was asked for my passport, what was I going to use the Internet for and then charged 5 manats per hour. Computers there were still running Windows XP and everything I am doing is heavily monitored. I was not able to access my Google drive account and one of the girls had to came and disable some of the security processes. Weird. I went straight to the chase and accessed the Tajikistan eVisa page and submitted my application with a copy of my passport. I do not know if it was the crappy Internet connection, the computer, or the surveillance but I was not able to get the confirm message. I did get a confirmation email though. I was supposed to wait two days to get my visa approved. I left the building not confident about having applied for it correctly. The main door was now closed, and they signaled me another door from where to reach the exit. Lucky enough I was able to see one of the famous Turkmenistan weddings as I was getting out. Everybody was dancing and sinigng very loud. Women were dressed in colorful dresses. I learned while on the vessel with Equs, one of the local girls, that marriages here are still arranged and there is a bride pricing. She herself didn’t love her husband but she accepted the whole tradition thing as far as I understood from the translation on my phone. The ceremony seemed cool though, and I stayed there for a few minutes enjoying it as well as the AC before going out to the melting streets of Ashgabat.