A solo trip to Mongolia on a 125cc

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

  1. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    Thanks for reading the RR and the kind words. I came across prophet Mahoma;s views encouraging travel for the first time when reading about the Omidvar Brothers from Iran travelling on motorcycles around the world. Interesting indeed how ancient philosophical foundations eventually emerged with modern means of transport.
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  2. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    We resupplied water and more pasta and tomato sauce to go with it for tonight’s dinner. When out in the shop we had a couple of sodas to get back a bit of energy and then, surprise, we found the Belgians again in a workshop right in front of us, at the other side of the street in a mechanical workshop. It seemed one of the cars have died attempted to cross a deep river. In one video I could see the whole car had been flooded in the process and had to be pulled out with another car.
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    Apparently, they have made it by pulling with a cord all the remaining distance to Bayanghonkor and if they didn’t find a solution, that was the plan all the way to the capital due to time constrains. The mechanic’s plan was planning on removing the fuel tank for which I saw no purpose without first testing if the car had spark. It did not. We tested together the ignition module with a multimeter, but it was caput. That Micra had a long way pulling the Corsa all that distance but they better start moving if they were to be catching back their flight.
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    We wished them good luck and departed ways now riding south. This time the trails were much better and the remaining 100 km were quite enjoyable. We did not repeat the same mistake of yesterday and found a good cliff to set camp before it went dark. We were sited at 6500 ft despite the landscape looking more like a flat valley. The weather like yesterday was perfect and so was the dinner and tea. I was almost done riding east; the human clock was adjusting to this constant moving and now it would have to re-adjust going west again. By 10 PM, we were just too tired of all the riding and we got back to the tents to have a good rest. Tomorrow the objective was set to reach the Gobi down south.
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  3. live2ridetahoe

    live2ridetahoe BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, MICN Supporter

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    All I really meant by “the typical” is that when I travel, I want to be seen as anything but ”the typical” American. I try to be humble, inquisitive, helpful, quiet, fun, a good listener, careful, respectful, appreciative, anticipate needs... did I say humble?

    Politics, socioeconomics, religions aside, we are all so similar. Landscapes and faces change, people’s skin color and languages and ideologies change, but at the end of the day we all want the same things: To provide for and love our families and friends and to be useful and helpful our fellow man...

    I try so very hard to ignore stereotypes and I try so very hard not to be one...

    Loving the RR GN, please keep the updates coming. PM me if you are ever heading to this side of the pond...

    Tahoe
  4. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Stir crazy

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    I was once complimented on my large tent for a small vehicle. You have excelled at this. That's a huge tent.
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  5. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Just caught up on your updates since 17-March @guerreronegro, what a fantastic few days you've posted! So cool to hook up with another rider and continue your journey with someone. Riding solo is wonderful in its own right, but connecting with another rider to help ease navigation, small crashes, and the like is a great way to spend part of the adventure.

    So cool to read about that family showing up out of nowhere and guiding you back to the main track. And a Prius - out there doing that kind of travel...nuts! Wonder where they re-charge the thing?

    Really like the camp pictures you posted, and some of the pics from the previous page where you're riding across the steppe - looks like riding parts of SE Oregon...so neat.

    Totally enjoyed 'em man, look forward to what comes next.
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  6. dvmweb

    dvmweb Adventurer

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    guerreronegro,,
    Just finished your most excellent RR.
    Thank you for sharing.
    This was a really. Good read.

    Good Luck with the wee strom.


    Walt B Michigan USA
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  7. ahung12

    ahung12 Adventurer

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    This RR needs to be made into a giant film advertisement for Honda.
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  8. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    One more day waking up in the Mongolian steppe. The experience was turning out great, just riding in the middle of nowhere and sleeping where deemed appropriate might look basic but it felt so liberating. All we had to worry about was the basic supplies and that was it. And it was about to get better.

    In the morning I woke up first and started to cook some tea. The morning was a bit fresh, around 45 Fahrenheit but as the sun rose up, the temperatures followed. I cleaned and lubed the chain looking at the main components to make sure everything was ok. The bash plate had been hit many times, but it was not deformed. Reddish dust was all around the motorcycle, I opened up the sprocket cover and discovered its teeth were getting prematurely worn. So far, I think I would be able to make it to the capital and discard it later with the original 15 teeth I still had on me.

    We continued riding south towards another town called Bogd, the Govi Survan did not seem far from there, although past it there were more mountains and sand as it looked from the satellite imagery. The navigation was as confusing as yesterday, many tracks previously done by other vehicles going to many directions and the only way to find out which was the right one was to lock the compass with the next destination´s coordinates.
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    The first stop of the morning was at a random monument in the middle of the steppe. Jorge and I took a picture together and then visualized some yurts on the distance, not far away, so we decided to go there and say hi. The locals there were super friendly. This was a small family with a very good yurt with solar panels, sat TV and a small pickup truck to carry the yurt and cattle around the different seasons. They had their normal cattle and then a cute pet goat for the kids to play with. We asked permission to take pictures inside the gurt, definetly another way of living.
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    The family was very hospitable and shared with us some yoghurt and cheese from their goats. The yoghurt was actually very good but the cheese was super strong. Jorge gave them a T-shirt of his motto, ¨la Vuelta al mundo sin avion¨ and I gave them some pasta we bought bulk together with some candy for the kids as a token of appreciation. We asked for the next town and they pointed with their finger to the set of trails going in that direction.
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    Progressively, the terrain started to turn from steppe into a mix of steppe and sand and ultimately the latter leaving us with a contrast of landscapes like these ones.
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    Every now and then we would also run into the improvised Budhist ovoos. After a couple pictures and also a few falling downs off the bike, the trail got a bit better and back to its previous flat, hard steppe condition. The final segment to get to the next village could have perfectly been an aerodrome. The surface was perfect to cruise at 60mph or more in crude steppe. Finally we made it to Zinst, where we re-supplied the basics, food for the night and some petrol while figuring out the next move.
  9. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    I think those 2nd gen Prius are the car of choice of Mongolia, they were just everywhere. Even some workshops they were named after Prius. Pretty sure those batteries are beyond its life and they just keep the Atkinson engine running until the chassis or suspension allows it. Yet, another popular job in Mongolia is welding, seems like every town you go there is always someone with an electrode machine willing to weld whatever is back together. Oregon looks and feels amazing from what I can see online, and the whole north west corner of the USA, these are astonishing landscapes, hope one day I can make it there for a good off'road trip.

    Lol, this tent when the parcel came home I was surprised to see how bulky and heavy it was but after using it all the trip, packing and unpacking it a few times I really like it. Maybe I would not bring it again on a trip as long as this one but in the 70 days I was out it was a good second home for me the bike and all the shit I was carrying :D:D
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  10. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    If they would have only given me one of those Supercubs (I tried emailing them) ...
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  11. herseyb

    herseyb Driftless Wisconsin Wanderlust

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    Wow, Mongolia, and that last bit of Russia look so beautiful!
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  12. ahung12

    ahung12 Adventurer

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    Supercub would have been really neat. But the fact that you're doing it on something somewhat obscure, old, and arguably not as good condition as a brand new bike makes your entire adventure even more approachable from the point of view of someone following along.

    For comparison, I followed Lyndon Poskitt's journeys around the world on his KTM, which of course was also amazing and in many ways quite different than your journey. But I get the same feelings of awe and inspiration following both of your adventures and encounters with people. To me, it's a great example of the journey, the people (including rider of course!), and the places that make the adventure, not the equipment.
  13. Archie Adv

    Archie Adv Celtic Adventurer Supporter

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    Great RR GN, now looking forward to the follow up, when you find the time.
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  14. wheel_muse

    wheel_muse Brian D

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    Thank you, Jose, for your outstanding Ride Report. Your photos, narration, and general spirit of adventure keep me engaged. And your philosophical observations are inspiring.
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  15. guerreronegro

    guerreronegro Been here awhile

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    The grocery shops here had a bit of everything. We again bought more pasta both for us and in case we ran into more locals later on. The place did not have any restaurants opened so we just eat a snack and a soda before continuing. While doing so we saw there were a series of crystal caves marked on our paper maps as a tourist attraction. At this point I did not know if this was sarcastic as I have not seen many people other than locals in the last three days. We decided to go there but first we had to pass by the next village down south, 30 km away.

    In Bogd I found the response to the tourist question as we saw some Landcruisers with foreigners inside. While briefly talking to them we got some intel about the conditions which appeared to be harsh referring to the sand. That kind of put us off but since we already have made it here, we would try anyways and if worse came to worst we would return. Bogd seem to be the place just before entering the Gobi in this section. We found a nice restaurant and had to try those Mongolian dumplings. The day was starting to get cloudy, and rain might make an appearance later in the day.

    After crossing the small town, we followed a trail supposedly going to the crystal caves but which deviated from the main road as an alternative to crossing the mountains. We had to cross a small river and soon found many small dunes with lots of sand. That kind of slowed us down as we got stuck a few times. It was fun to see the locals in their motorcycles though, riding two or three and passing us by without much difficulty.



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    The tiny Varadero handled better in the sand but the small engine was not able to deliver much power and the clutch suffered when I got stuck. Eventually I was able to get out by myself, but I could smell the suffering inside the gearbox. The GS was another story and the extra 100kg showed in these conditions, I had to help Jorge a few times pushing him out. We kept advancing through what we considered it was the main track but with Mongolian roads you can never be sure and soon we realized we were lost in the tiny dunes around us. In this confusion I also lost my jerry can as I failed to secure it in the tires. This would join my Garmin and the neck and back protector as the list of things I lost in this excursion. Hopefully, it would serve one of those locals in Chinese motorcycles. We tried to look for an alternative way to what we saw in the distance as the main track. Then it started to rain and thunders were visible in the distance. What appeared to be steppe and sand transformed into mud, a very sticky one. I put on the raincoat preparing for the worse.

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    We got stuck countless times until we found some tyres prints on the ground signalling the way out of this nightmare. And then we visualized a canyon separating us from the main track. We figured if we kept following it parallel to the road, eventually we would find a decent place where to cross it. The rain stopped and the rainbow came out as the sun set. This was a hard one but also one of the most fun and beautiful days in this country. We were completely exhausted after falling and getting stuck in this terrain but finally we were in the main road. We did not find a crystal cave nor that we cared too much at this point, and now we were preoccupied finding a decent place where to pitch the tent. But when things like this happen and as many times already, locals came to help. We found a ger close to the main road and decided to ask the father and son securing the cattle if it was ok to pitch the tents next to theirs.

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    They didn’t let us do that, instead the invited to go inside with them. They introduced as Batuik and Isumbilik. The wife was out in the capital buying supplies as we understood from the translator. These people were extremely hospitable and they were in the process of cooking a goat. I am very open minded about food, but I have never seen cooking the organs that were just extracted from the thing with blood. They made a soup and also cooked some meat. Both me and Jorge tried it to show respect but we also both agreed on the extremely strong taste. It was not bad, but the flavour would not go away easily. We were also offered bread and cheese and after having dinner and talking quite a lot, they told us to put our sleeping bags in the carpet next to the heating stove. This was probably the closest I got to a local way of living without filters. I was amazed to see a kid around 14 years old being able to gather the cattle, kill and cook a goat just like that. Definitely one of the best experiences in this trip so far.

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  16. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    the updates just make me a lesser adventure rider...haha

    gn, thanks for doing the riding for us....:ricky
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  17. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    Tourist books a guided tour to see crystal caves.

    Biker rides in the desert, gets a bit lost and a lot of getting stuck, almost f’s up his clutch and eats goat organs with local people.

    I definitely know who had the better day. By far… :beer

    another great update, must have been quite the day!
  18. chris4652009

    chris4652009 Been here awhile

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    Absolutely superb
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  19. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Now that's living! Wow.
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  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    What an amazing update @guerreronegro! From riding through the sand, getting stuck, getting lost, helping each other out, and then coming across that father and son duo. I cannot imagine how incredible it must have been to be welcomed into their home while truly experiencing how those folks live. I'm usually one who's willing to try just about anything on the culinary front, but damn - your description of how they made that soup and then cooked the goat would likely be near the limit of what I'm comfortable with...lol. And wow - being able to setup your sleeping bags in their yurt (assume it's a yurt?). What a gracious and welcoming act.

    Not sure how long I've been following your RR man, but it's such an inspiration. Also makes me wish I would have pursued life in a different manner. I'm hoping I can help and influence my boys to go travel before they join the rat race that is work-life in the US. Not that I haven't enjoyed my path as it's been an adventure of its own, but there are experiences I would have liked.

    Look forward to the next update.
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