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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    Knowing your ride took place over a year ago, it seems odd to say "Congrats on making it to Mongolia", but I'm gonna say it anyway - that's frickin' awesome @guerreronegro! What a culmination of experiences to get to this point in your adventure man.

    Like the short video you shot riding into the landscape, looks very desolate and quite wonderful. Reminds me of some of the high desert places I've ridden in SE Oregon, though not nearly as vast. That two-track in the last picture splitting off to the left would be tough to pass up and explore; though that might not be permitted or allowed.

    Look forward to seeing what comes next! It's been so long since I started following your report that I've forgotten where the rally stops? Sounds like you still have several days of riding in country before hitting that spot, so it'll be great to see where you ride.
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  2. DirtScaresMe

    DirtScaresMe n00b

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    After going down the ADV rabbit hole reading YOUR story I felt inspired and motivated so I ordered a copy of "10 years on 2 wheels" by Helge Pedersen. I was disappointed in the lack of detail and brevity in the book AFTER reading your story and its detail. Please keep it up!
  3. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, MICN Supporter

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    L2D,

    There is nothing like riding in Mongolia.

    The vastness, the ability to ride anywhere and without fence, the utter emptiness is something you can’t imagine. The high steppe outside of Olgi in the west of Mongolia probably does look and feel like high desert. That changes when you go east, or south or north. It is remarkable.

    The people are wonderful.

    I get asked often what Mongolia was like. I guess my standard response for Americans is “Montana 200 years ago”. If you can make it happen, just make it happen. It is so very easy to do. The toughest part about going to ride in Mongolia is deciding to finally make it happen.

    Thanks for sharing your trip GN!

    I have been following along every day. I guess now that you are finally in Mongolia I am feeling bittersweet. I am excited to see photos and videos and hear stories of Mongolia. On the other hand, I know that this trip will be ending soon. Hopefully not too soon tho.

    Thanks for having us along.

    Cheers!

    Tahoe
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  4. Nissedasapewt42

    Nissedasapewt42 n00b Supporter

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    I'm glued to this RR and eagerly await each new update. Thank you for recording it at the time and then taking the trouble to post on here to share your trip with us.

    I love hearing about all the locals who help you along the way. I have fond memories of meeting many such friendly locals during my own overland travels and people like this really are what makes the world go round.
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  5. mpusms

    mpusms Been here awhile Supporter

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    First and foremost this is an outstanding RR and something tells me it's nowhere near from being over, heck you gotta get home somehow right?

    I've always wondered how is it that riders know who to pay what at borders. They can make up all sorts of crap and what can you do? I guess you're in their "world" and have very little choice but to pay up.
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  6. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

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    Thanks for posting your RR, you have rejuvenated my desire for solo moto travel. This year is already mapped out with UK and USA trips, but thanks to you next year London to Vladivostok is now on the agenda.
    Regards, Mark.
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  7. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    In Mongolia as well as in most of the countries after Europe the concepts of permitted or allowed are a bit up to interpretation :lol3:lol3. I always tried to be respectful with private property or government regulations trying to apply common sense, because other than that, there is not much out there to tell you what is right and what is wrong. it is as @live2ridetahoe describes it, vast emptyness everywhere with just nomads in between (a great percentage of the total population I believe). Most of them are great people curious to see and interact with foreigners. It is really interesting to see their approach to life and how simple things for us can be an object of great fascination for them and viceversa. Their concept of private property, and how the state has kept out allowing people to really preserve their identity almost untouched living in small communities... A truky fscinating country indeed. Funny enough, a few days after I found myself crossing what it was supposed to be an airport in the middle of nowhere. I will write on that with more detail later on. The rally was meant to stop in Ulan Ude but as you can see from the map in the first page, I made it back so there are still some stories to throw in this thread, @live2ridetahoe :D:D:D

    Well, everyone has a different style. I think most importantly besides inspiration is the amount of intel that you can gather from each point of view. Im glad you are liking it so far, when i started to write it I did not really know how to orientate it but I guess this is the style that defines me best. Me personally I appreciate those bikers out there putting together incredible videos telling a story, having been out there I just cannot see how to allocate time resources while riding.
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  8. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    This is aways a dilemma. What to say about this? I heard how some foreigners ignored these people and continued without stopping, there is not really anyone pointing a gun at you to go through it. My personal approach to this is that while it is certainly pointless, I am not in the position to really question a bureacracy that I don't know nor understand. I see these people trying to make a living out of something "legitimate" even though one can argue that the insurance will not be useful at all with a 95% accuracy. Yet, in the end it was 10$ that will likely benefit someone in the economy. That being said I also found out that in Kazakhstan you also need one of those insurances after crossing the country which I never paid for because nobody was out there to tell me it was needed.
  9. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    When I saw this brand-new road, I felt a bit disappointed. In my head Mongolia was one of these countries that it was going to be quite hard to navigate. But I did not have to wait long to see how some sections of the road abruptly turned into gravel or just harsh terrain intermittently and without any prior notice. Then I realize even thought there was some asphalt, I might as well take advantage of it while it lasted, the rough terrain was so corrugated that I would not last long nor cover much ground with this bike's setup.
    IMG_20190826_135636.jpg

    I stopped in Olgi to do the usual business. Resupplying and getting a new SIM card were at the top of the list. The plan was to camp almost every day, so water was important as well as food to cook. I found a nice supermarket where I also bought some candy and things for kids, I presumed I would find at some point in the steppe. Fuel was a bit more expensive than in Russia, I think they import it from them already refined. I had to refuel as I had no clue how frequent petrol stations were going to be available. I also went to withdraw some more cash with my prepaid visa debit card. The development bank of Mongolia did not like the card and refused to give cash, so I went to the Khan bank, which seemed to work. Olgii was a decent village with almost everything you could need. They even had a place for overlanders to stay resembling the yurts nomads use. I still had much daylight to give up so I went to find a place to eat and look once again at the strategy to cross the country. I found a place that I could translate as Korean food, so in the benefit of time I entered it without hesitation. Interacting with Mongolians was a bit more of the same, with the translator and Internet running I wrote: “please give me something delicious that you cook everyday”. The girl was very nice and quickly got it while smiling she told me to sit and wait. The way Mongolians talk is truly fascinating, they use their throat to give shape to sounds in a way I have never heard before.

    Food was delicious and while waiting I decided initially, I would follow the road to Bayanghonkor, from where I would try to go down into the Gobi Gurvan, just to the right of the Gobi A as my paper map indicated. The difference between going north and south is apparently quite a lot from what I was told from other teams that decided to go towards Murun. This itinerary is more mountainous like a continuation of the Altai region in Russia. There were rumors that there were many river crossings plus less infrastructure to rely on so given the fact I was still riding alone I decided to avoid this uncertainty. Given the present conditions of the road, I signaled a lake close to Khovd in the map to attempt to camp there for the night. I payed the woman, started the bike and headed there before the sun ran out. IMG_20190826_184237.jpg
  10. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    ^^^^
    Outstanding image and capture @guerreronegro! Enjoyed the update, look forward to hearing more about the spot you camped and interactions with the local population.
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  11. Cafeguzzi

    Cafeguzzi Been here awhile

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    ". The way Mongolians talk is truly fascinating, they use their throat to give shape to sounds in a way I have never heard before."
    i recently discovered per IG the art of Mongolian throat singing. absolutely fascinating!
  12. elron

    elron Still Standing Supporter

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    Querreronegro, Just started on this fine RR today. Think I'm around day 13 of your journey. Really enjoying it as you are letting both the enviroment and the folks you're meeting adjust your itinerary. In my mind that is what is making this such a fine report and a truer "adventure" for you. Looking forward to continuing this report.
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  13. SlowFinn

    SlowFinn Adventurer

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    Thanks for a great RR. Really enjoyed the pictures from Samarkand, a name and place from ancient tales.
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  14. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Up until Khovd the road was in excellent condition. There was one bridge though, that had given up and collapsed. Instead traffic had already found an alternative way and since the river was dry there was nothing to worry about. I was able to see in the distance some Mongolian Gers and every now and then some camels, I think they are called Bactrian camels, often dispersed and sometimes together drinking from some small ponds. The landscape was astonishing, a mix of lakes, a few hills and just vast emptiness no matter where you looked. It was not arid yet, but rather a continuation of the steppe. The small grass growing will sometimes have funny colors, it just seemed magical. I stopped just to take pictures and a quick bite, and then continued.
    69784748_2371516732926748_5950141726445273088_n.jpg
    70386599_2371517129593375_3159160308354777088_n.jpg When I arrived in Khovd the sun was already going down and before I knew it, it was dark. I refueled before taking the track from this town into the lake. I did not know with certainty whether this was the right track or not but it certainly was good off -road fun. I saw some locals scattered around in Gers but they also had dogs protecting the cattle that would defend their radius without hesitation so I was forced to keep riding until I found something more placid where to pitch the tent.

    Without barely any light and quite tired I had to mount the tent and in the process of doing so, I could see a thousand mosquitos going after me or the light. I did this as fast as possible and sought refugee inside the tent. There would be more time to think tomorrow with light. I could hear however, the sound of active animals, probably horses as I saw some on my way in here. Wind was also moving the tent a bit so despite the last 30 km of off road fun, getting some decent rest was not going to be as easy. Coordinates of the camping place (not that I recommend this place at all) are LATITUDE: 47.92738 LONGITUDE: 91.99312 (for some reason it does not appear on the track).

    Attached Files:

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  15. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless Super Supporter

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    Absolutely stunning!!! Incredible journey!!! Your storytelling is excellent and having consumed the whole report up to the last entry, I anxiously await the next installment!!!! Thank you, thank you for taking the time to share this adventure!!!!!
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