Heavy Metal around Mongolia and Central Asia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by timolgra1, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    I suppose I should just say at this point, this account is taken from my own perspective and don't neccesarily hold the same views as the others, but you'd probably already guessed that!
    Also, I've tried to use my own photos whenever possible but have nabbed some off the others to tell my story.
    #61
  2. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Baz was now revelling in it:thumb A novice offroader to start with, he employed the 'feck it, I'll nail the throttle technique', on most occasions it worked although it did result in a few big crashes through out the trip:clap

    Many was the time he'd come to me and say "fecking awesome mate, thanks for bringing me here". Well I didn't bring him, he got himself here, and I chose him because of this positive attitude...top bloke...despite being a copper:D
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    The sand trap eventually spits us out..... but there'll be more waiting.
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    It's just a matter of finding them....
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    #62
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  3. ziarn

    ziarn Adventurer

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    Mongoliaaaaa ... I love youuuuuuu ...
    Amazing trip, I envy you.
    Subscribed :lurk
    #63
  4. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    Following an incredible fast ride across the smooth and vast flatland just north of the Gobi we encountered a violent storm sweeping across our path.

    No photos sorry.


    A big black twister reaches from the dark forbidding sky down to the ground off to our side but cutting across our track.
    Baz chases off after it. Why? I don't know ....or perhaps I do. He returns defeated, it had changed it's course and we were free to move on.

    We press on in a northerly direction looking for somewhere to stay out of the wind.
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    We roll into a tiny windswept village, there's a small shop and I buy some more 'Choco Pi's, I loved these and bought them wherever I could.

    A woman takes us back to the family compound and we can stay there. The whole family moves out of their home and into a shed next door, they continue preparing the food which must have been their own meal.
    They have a TV!!!
    We sit and drink hot sweet chi and can all sleep on their floor after eating.

    It's been a long day.
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    Fatty mutton and homemade pasta is soon ready to be eaten. Yummy.
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    I chat with the elder man who proudly shows me his meager vegetable patch, I give him a miniture bottle of brandy as thanks for their hospitalty, I do hope he enjoyed it.
    In the morning we're given a great breakfast which didn't include any mutton.

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    Bypassing their savage dog, morning ablusions are completed without mishap.
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    And we head out once more into the vast landscape.
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    And on it goes
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    #64
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  5. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    I spent a great deal time beforehand thinking of our route in Mongolia and wanted to see as much variety there as the month long visa allowed.
    We couldn't go to Mongolia and not experience parts of the Gobi now could we.

    If you study the 'road map' of Mongolia you'll notice that to go west from UB there are two main routes.
    The southern would skirt the northern edge of the Gobi but would frankly get boring after a while.
    The northern would probably be more interesting but carry more traffic.
    A downside to using either are the more well used routes have bad corrugations and bike breaking stones in the hard packed surface, as we found out.


    So I opted to find the lesser used routes for several reasons, avoiding the above, navigation would become more of a challenge and the people we met along the way would somehow be more who I was hoping to find.

    So for now, that's enough of this.
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    Let's keep heading north and west to see what we can find.
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    Eventually we do find a paradise, but that's much later....
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    #65
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  6. Whatton

    Whatton Been here awhile

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    Keep it coming Tim, top class report, thank you :clap
    #66
  7. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt! Supporter

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    Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! :clap
    #67
  8. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    I was a fair way ahead at this time so this is one of Pete's photos who was riding with Baz.

    It's easy to become complacent after long periods of smoothish surfaces so I can imagined his panic as Baz locks his rear brake and skids towards this, only just stopping in time.
    A couple of feet to the right would've been ok, if he hadn't seen it in time it would have destroyed his bike and perhaps him with it considering the speeds we were often riding.


    Perhaps this was where that so important luck stepped in.
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    #68
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  9. Bowes

    Bowes Oman Dirty Biker

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    The absolute dogs bollocks! Fantastic read. Brilliant! Subscribed:1drink
    #69
  10. tracyprier

    tracyprier Adventurer

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    An amazing journey :)

    Tell me, what riding pants are you using? I've not seen them before? they look pretty hardcore!

    cheers
    Tracy
    #70
  11. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    I've tried all sorts of gear over the years and came back to Hein Gericke 'Tuareg', this style has been out of production for a few years but ebay came to my rescue (again). :1drink
    #71
  12. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    When we first entered Mongolia I'd only know Dennis a day, we were discussing listening to music whilst riding across Russia and I proudly began to get my Iriver player and moulded ear plugs with built in moniters from my top pocket. I'd also left a bar of chocolate in there, it'd melted, coating the whole lot in a sticky brown mess!
    I pulled them out dispondantly just as Dennis walked past, "you're suppose to stick em in yer ears, not up your ass" he said, quick as a flash:D


    Dennis could talk the hind legs off a kangaroo but I always loved listening to his stories and missed them when we parted.

    His top box was his pantry. It had it all. Stove, coffee,food, herbs and spices, fruit, you name it, it was there.
    Now this system worked perfectly well under normal riding conditions but the rough conditions caused chaos to his 'system'.
    Black, rancid bananas mixed themselves with coffee and powdered milk which in turn spread over his stove, peanut butter jars broke and mixed with curry powder. You get the picture.
    Dennis takes it all in his stride "oh bugger, look whats happened here" we'd all peer into the mess of his top box with as you can imagine, little sympathy:D


    His Australian accent and expressions were rubbing off on us as well.

    Next morning after this next photo was taken, Dennis goes for a walk behind some rocks armed with his 'date roll', "I'm just going to snap one off" he informs us, ten minutes later he's back "Oh bugger, I went and sat in it". It was another day before we found a river for him to have a good wash in.

    So here he is, as laid back as ever. We've all got a tents up and getting food on, Dennis lies back in the sun, "there's pleny of time for all that"...a good lesson from a seasoned traveller.
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    We'd been running out of decent tobacco but eventually got some which the Mongolians smoke, it was more like wood shavings and tasted disgusting, but of course better than nothing.
    Dennis finally managed to roll one, "what do you reckon mate?" as if straight from Crocodile Dundee he says "well you can smoke it, but it tastes like sh*t".:johntm

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    #72
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  13. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    Camped up close to one of the 'main roads' and the school bus passes.
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    Always inquisitive, always helpful a local stops by to help Baz put his tarp up.
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    Set up for the night.
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    We do some male bonding:huh
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    More Dorset flag riding
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    Out for a walk in the evening and I watch the horses return to...wherever horses return to.
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    We pass the time of day.
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    Locals on their way home.
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    Then soak it all up before sleep.
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    #73
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  14. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    We've come up from the Gobi proper and are now on the more southerly routes going west I mentioned earlier. We need to go west for a day before heading north into the even more remote mountains.
    So this is THE main route west.

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    There's more settlements alongside this road.
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    More great people along the way.
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    The equivalent of a motorway service station, except here people talk to you!!
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    And we talk to them.
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    When Mongolians approach out of nowhere, they tend to stare at you and your machine in wonderment before carefully and respectfully interacting.
    We compare horse and motorcycle, I check out his saddle and stirrups, he checks out mine.

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    #74
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  15. Uzay

    Uzay Adventure Dreamer

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    Great write up, beautiful pics, exciting trip, thanks for bringing those to us:thumb
    #75
  16. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    Riding too fast I hit a cunningly hidden rock which nearly has me off and bursts my front tyre.
    So a heavy patch is glued to the inner wall of my tyre, heavy duty tube fitted and 'rat tail' glued into the split.


    Note the guy with his horse, comes from nowhere, sits respecfully and watches. We give him biscuits.

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    The rat tail didn't last long, perhaps I didn't let the glue set for long enough. Either way, it was useless.
    Still, this tyres' only got to last until Istanbul!
    It didn't!


    In the Altay region of Russia the bulge got bigger and the patch wore through the tube causing another puncture, luckily we had a part worn front as a spare which did get me to Istanbul.

    You can't get a 19" tube in Mongolia, but I did find an 18" which would have got me there.....I think.
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    No problem with my rear tyre though:eek1
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    #76
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  17. Wildman

    Wildman Long timer

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    Astonishing, guys! :thumb
    #77
  18. Tassie Devil

    Tassie Devil Adventurer

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    A wonderful tale with delightful pics. I look forward to the next installment gentlemen....

    Cheers,

    JQ.
    #78
  19. timolgra1

    timolgra1 Been here awhile

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    We've been riding that short section of main road west from Arvayheer and now we're at Bayanhongor. From here we want to head north to Tsetserleg through the Khangai Nuuru National Park with it's rivers and mountains and who knows what else.

    Bayahongor is a large town for Mongolia and from this picture you can see the set up. Family compounds containing their gers and sheds with government buildings to one side. These towns generally have a market place where you can buy anything that's likely to be available in Mongolia outside of Ulaanbaatar and a few food shops....to re stock on Choco Pies:evil
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    The workmen have to watch out for each other here.
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    We find a great spot to camp not far from town and get dinner going.
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    It's a great spot because it's on an island, island = wet feet:D
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    In fact, wet everything in Jarvo's case as he discovers slippy rocks!
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    No problem for Pete
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    On one trip into town I seemed to get out of shape.
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    Dennis hated getting his feet wet.
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    Dennis, the big poof, exchanges sandals for boots once over.
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    Then the local lads turn up...
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    Great fun.
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    #79
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  20. rubbercow80

    rubbercow80 Confused & Disorientated

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    Loving This. Great attitude. Im in till the end.
    #80