A solo trip to Mongolia on a 125cc

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

  1. overvandet

    overvandet Thumperrash

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    Great adv diary guerreronegro, it looks like it has been a lot of fun, and an experience to remember forever, keep up the writing, much appreciated!
  2. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    Nice to hear things went for the better around the Russian border area, after the apparently less comfortable times in most of Kazachstan.:thumb
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  3. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    What a fantastic update @guerreronegro! Dang man, from the experience of trying to get some food before crossing the border to the first experiences in Russia - truly amazing man. While I've experienced friendliness and camaraderie while traveling solo on my bike, I cannot imagine anything like what you describe happening in the US - ever. That's not to say folks are unfriendly, but no one would leave food on a bike seat like that (which isn't a complaint about us here, just a fact).

    The pictures of where you camped are awesome, what a beautiful spot. And so cool to be invited to stay on someone's property who then offers you dinner and tea and a boat ride the following day - what a truly wonderful experience. Imagine drinking all that vodka left an impression the next day though :lol2 :lol2 :lol2

    Thanks for the update, I look forward to the next.
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  4. 1854cc

    1854cc Adventurer

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    Mate, just came across this RR and read the whole thing in one go.....great story, great writing and great pictures. (Tip: Whenever you want to write the word "deposit", change it to "tank" :) Love how you came across so many people that helped you out and wouldn't take your money. You're not even in Mongolia yet so looking for forward to the other half of the trip.
    rsm8
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  5. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

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    I like being reminded that depósito is tank in Spanish. How do you say "fill her up, please"? "Depósito lleno, por favor"? Or probably some better expression. (My foreign languages have very few verbs).
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  6. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Thanks, and thanks for the tip also, will do:-)
    Deposito is the Spanish castillian word for tank. But in Latin America I know some countries also use the word "tanque" derived from fuel tank in English. Deposito is equally used, just depends which region you are in they will probably have a couple words for it anyhow.
    In Spain we are a bit more reluctant to borrow words specially as "tanque" has a few meanings, the main one being a war tank. To avoid uncertainty you can go with "Lleno por favor" as it is already implied in the phrase the subject.
  7. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    You gotta love the Russians. I just couldn't imagine what would happen if you say no to their vodka offer. Apparently from what I was told they take it very seriously as an offence. Not a big fan of distilled drinks but this one was homemade and man was it good. They even gave me some which came to substitute the Serbian Rakia that was about to finish. Indeed one of the best days in this trip.
  8. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    More correct way is to say "I filled up the tank with fuel" not too fussed I saw it and realised what you meant
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  9. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    I am pretty sure that having taken another itinerary and not being so time concerned I would have had an equally good time. Hopefully there will be a next time to check this huge country a bit more relaxed and hopefully more offroad.

    Forgot to attach the last gps log with the approx track followed.

    Attached Files:

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  10. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    I had a great night camping next to this lake. I felt like being at home literally. The Russian couple and Igor treated me as one more and it felt great despite the obvious culture and language barrier, we had a great time together. I woke up and started to fix the fuel stove. I had a spare part with me. It turns out the nozzle was clogged due to the bad petrol I had been using to make it work. This kind of stoves was supposed to work with many fuels including alcohol. Only god knows what this petrol I had been using was really. It made me wonder what would have happened if I would have ridden a fuel injected bike. The Varadero despite the troubles had been working with zero reliability faults. I met another Spanish rider later on a KTM Adventure who had broken a couple of fuel pumps and was running on an adapted Lada fuel pumpa local facilitated him. He had had to improvise a vivac in the middle of the desert in Kazakhstan where he broke down until one local came by and helped him out. Good to know these stories and be psychologically prepared for the worst.
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    With the nozzle replaced, the stove was fixed and I was now able to boil some water to wash the air filter. Weather was perfect so I also washed all the clothing and let it dry. As I was doing this, Igor came by with a shotgun on his shoulder. Very enthusiastically he let me hold it and said what his Yandex translator had on the screen: “you me go hunt birds in zodiac boat”. I was like, why not. I did not have anything better to do other than keep riding east. I figured this day could be used as kind of a break. So, before doing the shotgun thing he first took me back to the hut and offered me breakfast. We had some tea with honey which he gave me also a bottle full of. I was once again mesmerized by the level of generosity. Igor kept insisting and he also prepared a soup made out of instant noodles for the two of us. To this day we keep messaging each other. He told me that he has a family back in the city but that in his days off in the summer he comes always to the lake to fish and hunt.
    IMG_20190824_103905.jpg
    IMG_20190824_104811.jpg So, after breakfast, he started the zodiac and took me around the lake showing around the landscape. From what I could understand him, the birds he wanted to hunt were on top of the vegetation that was growing on top of the lake. As we moved more towards the centre, we had to clean the engine from seaweed to avoid getting stuck. What he didn’t know is that apparently there was some sort of a festival or concert around and so we cancelled the shooting thing as they were many people around camping in tents as well. He invited me to stay one more night so to go to the concert thing. And for a minute I thought about saying yes. I was already taking this as a day off but I started to weight everything in the balance. If I would go there for the night, it seemed like the kind of event I would have likely end up wasted and next day riding would not be done safely, which would make me loose an extra day.

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    Reluctant to test out my luck more than necessary I passed on this opportunity and explained to Igor the rally and me running on a tight schedule. He didn’t take it bad and once back in his terrain, we said good bye with a warm hug. Before leaving, he pointed in my map what was probably the best itinerary I had followed. Instead of following the boring A322 to Barnaul and then Blysk, he pinpointed in my paper map an alternative dirt road through the forest which he said to be in excellent condition. This looked promising.
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  11. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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    Most FI bikes are ok worst case fuel injector filter gets clogged easy fix but KTM's are renowned for Fuel pump failures don't really know why
    Excellent read https://advrider.com/f/threads/round-africa-with-a-surfboard.922561/ but along the way he also had too clean and replace parts on the carburettor many times and unlike your stoves Jet the FI jet is not directly in contact with the combustion so not likely to soot up, if it does you have a bigger problem with your engine
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  12. Red liner

    Red liner Long timer

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    Loving it...keep on going my man
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  13. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    So many wonderful stories within the greater story @guerreronegro, but I really enjoyed reading this one. What a fantastic statement on humanity and how cultural and language barriers don't prohibit a friendship bond from forming.

    Look forward to the next update and finding out where you travels land you.
  14. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the link, looks really interesting, subscribed to it. Both systems are a pain in the ass if they start spelling trouble. I guess this is the eternal debate like tubeless vs tubes tires. Both have pros and cons while roaming out there. Luckily I never had to disassemble the bike more than to give preventive maintenance. But if I ever had to I would definetly stay old school with systems I am more or less able to repair with fair simple tools like the link you sent. This KTM guy had to stay with this Lada fuel pump adaptation until reaching Poland on his way back. All of the KTM dealerships in central Russia and even Moscow ran out of pumps as summer was busy with adventure bikers and they bought only a few to have in their invenotries.
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  15. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    I did not leave Savvushka until 3pm. Leaving this place left me with second thoughts for the rest of the day specially after enduring Kazakhstan ride and sleep dynamics. Before starting the bike, Igor gave me another bag of food and pickles. My saddle bags were at this point full of food I gathered from locals only. But this day was far from over. I followed Igor’s itinerary and it was in the top 5 most enjoyable parts of this trip when it came to just ride. Soon I had to leave the main road and make a right turn to a gravel road. Unlike the previous countries, this was in really good condition which made possible to cruise at 50 mph while enjoying the ride and also the landscape. It seemed perfect for any dual sport bike. I was transitioning into the Altai mountains traversing green crop fields of different tonalities. I could see wild horses not far away and I crossed few rural populations.
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    Before entering one little village I saw two persons stopped next to an old Lada asking for help. I thought to myself the least I could do was to stop and see what was going on. After all I had received so much from people in this trip it was my time to give back. Apparently, their trusty Lada had ran out of petrol one km before reaching the village and both father and son were trying to explain me they needed some fuel so they could make it back. I had my tank half full and even though I didn’t know when I was going to be able to refuel I decided to give them the remaining fuel I had in the jerry can I was carrying. It was not much but surely they would be able to get to the village which we could all see it was not far away. As soon as the car started the father was so happy it gave me one of those hugs you can remember your whole life. We said good bye and I kept carrying on.
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    This was one of those days I didn’t really know where I would be sleeping so I just limited myself to ride for the rest of the day until it got dark. It was noticeably colder and I had to stop to get the raining coat to wear as an extra layer. Eventually I found another petrol station and I refueled both the jerry can and the bike. While in the petrol station I asked a young woman about any place for a room, but she didn’t know of any or she didn’t understand my translation. This uncertainty was repetitive every now and then which made me wonder whether I was able to explain myself right sometimes an others terribly bad. Some Russians I learnt were very introvert and would not speak unless strictly necessary, so maybe this could be the case.
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    The thing is that I had no clue where to stay for the night. Without any light it was difficult to find a place to put the tent and when I was able to see something I didn’t see a place where I could hide if camping. The gravel road had rural populations every 25 km or so and in the middle nothing but the road, forest and the beginning of mountains (reason why it was getting cold). I decided to check maps.me and google maps but nothing really came as “hostel” or “rooms” in the points of interest. There was one farmstay not far away but when I reached it, I couldn’t find anything. At this point it was really dark, cold (3C / 37 F) and unsafe to ride. Mapsme marked in 20 km another guesthouse so I kept riding to the next rural population. Once again there wasn’t anything. Or at least that’s what I was thinking maybe because of the darkness. All I was able to see was a fence signaling the entrance to a farm. I did not get desperate but I was almost there. All the secondary trails were really muddy and I was not going to risk falling at night while riding alone just to find a place to pitch the tent. So I came back to this gate and started to honk in intervals to see if there was someone really there.
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    Shortly after honking a light appeared in a house a few meters up the hill after the fence. I must be the luckiest person alive I thought to myself. At 10 pm in the middle of nowhere, a woman came with a flashlight. Her name, Elena. She started speaking in Russian while letting me know I was welcome to come inside. I tried to tell her pointing at my phone if this was really a farmstay to what she replied positively. “Da da da” that’s all I was able to get. I was lucky she was enthusiastic and talkative even though I had no clue what I was getting myself into. She pointed me where the house was and where to leave the bike for the night. Now inside of the house she introduced me to her husband, a tough Armenian. Elena called a friend of hers who was a professor of English in a nearby town and she clarified things to me on the phone acting as a translator. Turns out the place was indeed a guest house within a farm compound. The price for the night was 500 rubles, about 5 USD. This included dinner and breakfast. She even asked me what kind of food I wanted for dinner. I was mesmerized by these people hospitality once again. I just told her I was happy with whatever they had around and if nothing that was also okay. The situation was just unreal. Elena talked while her phone was in handsfree and me talking to her friend, her friend was like you must eat something whether you like it or not, almost like a mother. I just couldn’t be more grateful to Elena and her husband. They prepared me some eggs with bread and cheese and then let me know where the room was in the house. They had many questions and we stayed after dinner talking with translator in hand. I remembered what I saw in some YouTube and ride reports here before departing home from other riders. Sometimes no matter how bad the situation seems to be, in the end it fixes itself.

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  16. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    WOW, man. I'm totally in love with all the people you are meeting in your travels.
    Perhaps it's the benefit of being so far removed from civilization- being unaware of politics and prejudice, troubles from crime,, etc? That these folks all welcome you with open hearts is just.... uplifting.
  17. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    It is a hard to describe feeling, I felt so many times like this... No politics, no information bombardment, little technology to just keep in touch if neccesary made me just focus in living life at a very slow pace. This is a strange definition of freedom but many days that was exactly how I felt, so liberated and stress-free. Literally all i had to do was ride everyday and worry for basic human necessities. I had the feeling many people I met along the way shared the same burden and even though they were poorer economically by first world standards, they were also much richer and free than me in so many different ways. That is the most beautiful lesson I learnt and also the eternal dilemma embedded in the current free market system. Reviving these diaries is so enriching because I can share it in a constructivist way so to better understand the bigger picture.
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  18. Red liner

    Red liner Long timer

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    Amazing amazing amazing and helmets off!!!
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  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    What a wonderful update @guerreronegro; how crazy to stumble across a guest house like that with those folks being so welcoming. Fantastic pictures too man, totally enjoyed this update.
  20. LS650

    LS650 Been here awhile

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    Turns out the place was indeed a guest house within a farm compound. The price for the night was 500 rubles, about 5 USD. This included dinner and breakfast. She even asked me what kind of food I wanted for dinner. I was mesmerized by these people hospitality once again. I just told her I was happy with whatever they had around and if nothing that was also okay. The situation was just unreal.

    You had so many amazing experiences on this journey! :D
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