A solo trip to Mongolia on a 125cc

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

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Catching up on your report @guerreronegro; must have missed one of the alerts and didn't realize you'd responded about the ticket situation. Great that you were able to get out of it and didn't have to pay anything to the cops; though your experience in that city leaves much to be desired, huh.

    Realize this was awhile ago, but dang - that camp spot along the river is fantastic! Sounds like it was stupid cold and I imagine that detracted from such a idyllic spot, but a great find nonetheless.

    Going to catch up on your latest update, appreciate you keeping this going man! Between the covid lock down and idiocy taking place in our government, I need as many ride reports to follow as possible :lol2 :lol2 :lol2
    guerreronegro likes this.
  2. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn @guerreronegro - what's with leaving us hanging like this :lol3 :lol3 :lol3.

    The pollution going through the tunnels must seriously suck; are they just filled with auto exhaust? And my guess is there's nothing like the EPA telling them to cut emissions (though in the grand scheme of things I doubt they come anywhere near what we emit).

    Look forward to reading about what transpired in Bishkek :eek7 :eek7 :eek7
    guerreronegro likes this.
  3. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    My understanding of things is that all vehicles that come to the end of their life because they failed their smog tests or MOT in their home country, they end up in Central Asia where all that matters is reliability over environmental concerns. And even when that does not apply, in relatively newer imports like Japanese RHD cars, I think their culture comes to the extent in which they eliminate the catalytic converter and EGR systems so as to "gain" back that extra power and improve reliability in the long run. Sometimes just by standing a few meters behind a car will let you smell from oil to all kinds of harmful particles. When I remember Kyrgyzstan the first thing that comes to my head is sadly this. Bishkek and Kazakhstan are coming in a few days, there is couple funny stories I need to retrieve from the diaries from what happened later in that day.
  4. ekoradesna

    ekoradesna n00b

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    Following. Nicely prepped mate!
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  5. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Kyrgyzstan is a top country for riders. Sadly I just had bad luck while visiting it and ended up burnt out. Even while going through the rural areas, my lungs and eyes were intoxicated. That, and the inability to communicate with anyone I met along the way had done it for me. I made up my mind and decided to keep going all the way to Almaty if possible, in Kazakhstan. Even if I would have had a good time, I was not doing that good in terms of time and this being day 38 left me with little contingency plans if I had to go back riding from Mongolia. At this time I was still confident in grabbing the Trans Siberian train to Moscow and ride from there as they had explained me in the emails with the cargo companies. This in theory would make me save a week of travel time but little did I know things work a bit different in mother Russia.

    So, going down that mountain pass after the tunnel felt great. Amazing views and a break from pollution as I was left alone while going down. In less than one hour I was in Bishkek surroundings and what another nightmare this was. All the roads were unpaved, with work in progress putting down the asphalt in a beaten up gravel road. There was heavy traffic, and I was once again immersed in a permanent cloud of dust and pollution from cars which I cannot describe how disgusting it was. I started to feel water coming from my nose as it was working hard to filter all the elements from coming in the lungs. Anyways, I did not dare to stop, I just wanted to finish Kyrgyzstan and the border was less than 30 minutes away.

    The road eventually came back to a paved smooth surface, and as I gained more speed, while incorporating in two-lane motorway, I saw another one of those police patrols pointing at me with the gun radar and making me gestures in the distance to stop. There was a bit more traffic next to me in the parallel lanes, so I analysed the situation almost in slow motion. My GPS indicated less than 2 km to reach the border with Kazakhstan and this police patrol didn’t seem to be in the mood to chase nobody in their patrol vehicle. Since it was a bit easy to confuse who was he aiming for while doing the gestures I decided not to stop and continue riding all the way to the border. I saw him in my mirror signalling more and more as I passed him, he was definitely aiming for me but since the last incident I knew this would have ended up in trouble had I stopped. i do not feel proud of this action but I knew if I had stopped he would be giving me the same non-sense as the last time over a speed limit that i might have surpassed barely. He never chased me back, and I was in the border in no time. This one was quick to cross with almost no cars. The Kazakhstanis made me sign a bunch of documents for the temporary import of the motorcycle but compared to some horror stories I heard this was a piece of cake. I just hoped not to have any problems when exiting the country.

    At the other side of the border I felt determined in buying a SIM card as I would be staying here easily for another 4 or 5 days. This was not an easy task. I didn’t have local currency and all the banks in the closest town denied all my credit cards. There was no foreign exchange around and neither a Beeline SIM provider. The other companies they did not want to issue me one for some reason. While attempting to look for all of this, I got in trouble with a kid who was following me constantly asking for money. This in the end was a border town. I tried to be as diplomatic as possible and told him politely to go away. He eventually gave up. Leaving the motorcycle out in the street while trying to attempt all of these tasks made me feel really uncomfortable as you never know whether the people working in the border trying to fool tourists will be taking redistribution of welfare in their own hands. So, I run out of patience and carried on to the next village where I found a foreign exchange. I exchanged 40 euros for the time being. Having that sorted I now needed to look for a restaurant which was becoming more and more challenging in the last few days.

    I kept remembering the lonely planet guide recommendation on central Asian gastronomy and how not to expect anything from it. The place I found next was an example of this quote. I was happy at least to have established communication back with the locals in terms of Translator and gestures. After the episode in Kyrgyzstan I was feeling not assertive enough in the strategy I was using to communicate with locals. At least I got to eat a piece of meat with some potato and onion. I could taste the oil used to cook it, not a pleasant experience but hey, at least it was food. The roads were high-end at this point. I got to reflect on how every time I enter any Stan, at the very beginning of it the roads are brand new, and then they progressively turn to gravel only to then disappear or show the remains of what once was a paved road. Its like they try to impress you at the border with the best roads currently available only to later show the true reality of things.

    After riding for another couple hours I got to enter Almaty. Here I would not have minded staying one night. The city felt vibrant and much more developed to what I have seen so far; but what do you know, there was a lake a few miles out of the city and the weather was just perfect to camp. I decided to go for that instead and avoid once again the tumultuous city life. I passed Almaty and then got back on the motorway leading to Kapchagay. On my way a local kept making me gestures from his car, I did not really know what he was trying to say to me, so he stopped on the shoulder of the motorway and I did the same. He just wanted to tell me the presence of a radar camera ahead. The guy had literally all of his teeth in gold and lots of scars in his face, he looked like a real gangster to me, but he turned out to be super friendly and in the end we said goodbye with a fraternal hug. He pointed me in the paper map I carried a cool place to camp, so I head there and what I place this was. There was one more overlander vehicle in the distance, so I choose my space and set up the tent. The weather was still perfect, so I even went for a swim which after all these days it was much appreciated.
    IMG_20190820_200802.jpg
    I finished the day changing the oil with the two liters I had bought back in Kirghizstan and cooking some more pasta. It was truly a night to enjoy with an open sky where all the stars could be easily identified.
    IMG_20190820_200902.jpg

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  6. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    NICE! Glad things got a bit better for you after all you endured over the past days.
    guerreronegro likes this.
  7. Speedmaster58

    Speedmaster58 Adventurer

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    don't feel bad about not stopping for the the police, I ended up doing the same in Eastern Russia after getting fleeced for crossing a white line to get into fuel station. So the next one that waived his light stick at me to stop, I carried on and thought like you, if he wants to chase me I will plead dumb:-):-)
  8. lfierro

    lfierro n00b Supporter

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    Tienes una lista de las cosas que llevastes en tu viaje ?
  9. lfierro

    lfierro n00b Supporter

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    ???