On Gobi but stil no rains

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by beba, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    4. – 30.8.2018

    KTM 690 with RallyRaid kit, Maxxis IT Desert tyres with tubes, additional tanks for 9 liters of petrol, additional 2 liter water tank under engine, 2x MSR Dromedary bag 3l, Kriega side bags.

    Tent, petrol cooker, spare petrol pump, signalization rockets, SPOT, Garmin GPS 60Csx, CAT S41 phone with Locus map, Mongolian road atlas (very useful).

    Bike transportation from Prague to UB and back – ADVfactory.com.

    I had plane to cross 1200 km in middle of Gobi to Gobi B protected area and visit Przewalski's horses who was reintroduce there from Prague Zoo. But plan was only dream then reality because of flooded desert.
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    1st day

    Heavy rain, big lakes of water are everywhere. I was heading from UB to Mandalgovi by asphalt. I am absolutely soaked. Before Delgertsoght rain finished, I slept near road. Morning wake-up me horn from sheep keepers’ motorbike. He visited me for short talking.
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    2st day

    I am continuing to Delgertsoght, where was last possibility for petrol, 92 oct only. By yesterday heavy rain my GPS stop work, I used spare GPS. I leaved asphalt to west by gravel road. Road go across green steppe, after 30 km I visited rock monument BagaGqzarin Chuluu. It is old volcano, interesting formed by wind and weather. I tried find prehistoric gravures and petroglyphs, but I was not successful, on place was many modern inscriptions.
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    Next way has name “Monastery road”. I visited monastery SumKhukhBurd with lake. But there is hotel and karaoke and I leave this place very fast. Next way was trough green steppe, I meet few gears. After 50km I connected to “main” road Mandalgovi – Erdendalai. It was true rolled piste.
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    Monastery in Erdendalai is beautifully, was established 500 years before by Tibetan monks. In communist regime there was stock and 300 monks was killed or moved to gulag. Now here live 3 monks. Pleasant women with very good English guide me and after visiting she recommend me directions to north by tarmac road. He didn’t understand, that I want go by gravel road to Gobi.
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    I passed 260 km by gravel roads across steppe. I slept near family who had many sheep and horses. I spend evening on rock hill and watch animals around well. On north in Khangayn Nuruu mountains (central Mongolian mountains) was heavy storm with many lightning. Night was without rain.

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    3 th day

    Beautifully morning in steppe. Nomad from neighbourhood ger visited me on horse. He had binocular and he look for sheep and horses. Around rocky hills circle many birds of prey.
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    I must return little bit and switched to different track, more to south. Through green hills and steppe with gers and herds animals. I met small monastery with stupa. I arrived after 100 km to Saikhan Ovo. South from village is last monastery on “Monastery road”. But monastery is on opposite river bank than in map. And river is overflooded from night storm in central mountains. I rotated to north to Bayangool. I hope, that there will be bridge. Yes, bridge is just under village, but before bridge are police and mans in white clothes. I must pay washing my bike by disinfections. In village is petrol station, they have 92 OCT petrol, but station is closed. Policeman arrived and call staff. He come on old Iž motorbike and sold me petrol.
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    On next way I follow electric line. My bike must be disinfected, once again. Road is good path of gravel in grass. Many horses I met. On right side was big rocky monument – old volcano. I don’t know name. Maybe, there was sea and volcano exploded under water. Gravel road is straight line, I drove 100 km/h. Sun burn, 30°C.

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    In Guchin Us, after next 180 km, I bought petrol, 80 OCT only. I wanted buy water, but shop was closed. Doesn’t matter, I have enough in dromedary bags and in additional water tank under engine. I must crossed small river, little overflooded. There was not bridge, I must go by river cross. But there was sand and my bike got stuck in deep sand with mud. I must jump to water, help with engine and force bike from river. I had boots full of water. Rivers in north Gobi flows from north to south and finish after 100 km in desert lakes.
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    I am heading to mountains on horizon. Highest peak has 3975 m and is 200 km far. I lost way on gravel plain. Green steppe finished and continue gravel desert. But was rain and on desert are grass and flowers. After 50 km I met two normal cars and they asked me for way to last village. I don’t understand how they cross river… I passed narrow gorge with stones and gravel. First camels around me. After 60 km, 12 km before BaruunBayn Ulaan I hide behind sheep shelter. Was strong wind and hot, 28°C. Many lightnings are on horizon on north, next storm. Nearest highest peak has 3596 m and is covered by cloud.
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    Attached Files:

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  3. James59

    James59 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    Amazing photographs, beautiful.
    #3
  4. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
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    1,051
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado.
    I agree! Great pictures!
    #4
  5. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    4 th day

    Morning BaruunBayn Ulaan is ghost town. Nobody on streets, shops closed, petrol station closed. Between city and mountains on south is big depressions with sand dunes. Sand dunes are just to rocky walls of mountains. Depression slowly fill up by water from river Taacyn gol and making lake Taacyn Tsagan Nuur. I stop between river and sadly view to second side. It is impossible to cross this river. Man, from ger, offer me – “If you pay, my soon transport your motorbike to other side. Yes? And if he is not successful, you only shrug shoulders and my bike sail to lake. No!”
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    I am heading north, in map is some road aprox 20km up to river. No, there is no bridge. Two men on horses watch me and wait if I cross river. Mongol men love watch how motorbike or car cross river and recommend me where I can cross river. No! I returned to village. Shop is open, I bought water and bred. I change plan and heading north, where is main road, where is bridge in Narijntel. Next parts of way is very strong in my memory. First, I crossed big gravel plane. After 20km I switch to gorge and follow dry river. Direct in riverbed. Soft sand, gravel. I must drove fast, 3th gear, full gas, bike perfectly work, it was like enduro. By gorge I went up to mountain pass. Next, I descent by another riverbed in gorge out from mountain. Aprox 50km of enduro driving. On edge of mountain is beautiful view from Ovo. Country under me is green and full of small lakes and gers. I sitting in view point and drying my sock and shoos on sun. Man on motorbike invite me to ger, but I continue my way.
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    In Bajanteeg is surface black cool mine. Village are horrible, but they has 92 OCT petrol. I avoided drunked men and asked other man for next road to Narinjtel. He wave by hand along power line. OK, it is common navigation in Mongolia. Power line go to rocky mountains, I followed path in grass. But in rocks path finish at gers. I used second common navigation system in Mongolia. GPS. But no GPS (Global position system), but GPS (Ger position system). I normally asked people in ger. Old man recommend me cross grass filed with many rocks and follow line on next side. This country was one of most interested piece of Mongolia. Volcanic rocky mountains, small creaks, grass, flowers, viewpoints, small ovos, gers. 35 km in beautiful landscape. On main road in Narinjteel is bridge. Under bridge roar overflooded river.
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    Tarmack, first on last 4 day. I drove to Bayanchongor, where I bought 95 oct petrol, water and beef meat in can. I switch from tarmac back to steppe and crossed green hills to south. Green hills finished after 70 km, next 30 km is stony desert. Was hot and dust, many cars went by this road. I finished before big overflooded river Tuy Gol. Bridge was destroyed by wild water. Local people recommend go under village where was bridge. River is split to large area aprox 200m , no deep, car cross here, but still to much for bike. I watch crossing cars and suddenly arrive bus. Short stop before river and next continue across river. Normal bus. On opposite side open trunks for bags and pour out water. I didn’t believe my yes.
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    There is no possibility how avoid, river finish in very large lakes, around lakes are sand dunes, swamp and big desert mountain. I decide, that I tried cross river. I slowly cross first fork, OK. Next I try cross main fork. Still is OK, but just before river bank I jump to some hole under water and water overflow my bike. I hold full gas, I drove out from water, but water flow to air box and engine. It is finish of my trip! I was exhausted from long way, I built tent on river bank. Morning I try to repair my bike.
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    5th day

    Morning local people help stand up bike and flow water from exhaust. Next, I disassemble air box and ventils cover, spark plug and empty oil. I crank up engine by starter. Water splash out from cylinder. But oil was full of water – emulsion. I left bike and tent on river bank, cross river back and walk to village. In village I bought 4 l of oil and crossed river back. I change twice oil, but still emulsion. Next trip to village, I bought 6 l of oil. After 10liters oil was clean. Local people got me noodles and coffee. I see next two locals motorbikes, that flow in river, but they finished od opposite side. They simple stand up bike, flow water from exhaust and jumping on start lever, that engine start. One was twice with small baby. Women with baby in scarf normally get off in river, walks to river bed and patiently wait, that man start motorbike. I slept one more night at river bank, only I moved tent up, because on north was next storm and river goes up.
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    #5
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  6. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    6th day

    Engine running! Only sometimes lost power. I drove north to main road. After 50 km I change oil once more. I dismount spark plug, was covered by white mud. I change new and bike normally start and has normal power. I manage it! But I stop thinking how cross rivers in Gobi. In desert water are not normally, there are not bridges. I try to continue along central mountain and I follow main roads, where are bridges.
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    I slept near Bayan Chongor on green hill. In nice sun set I watch cows and horses around me. Magic old man visited me on motorbike. He has bad leg and used stick. I offered him my small chair and beer and we discuss long time about weather and other. He spoke Mongolian only, but we understand together.
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    #6
  7. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
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    3,880
    Location:
    Gardnerville NV
    looks like a proper adventure solo
    #7
  8. haystack

    haystack Just ride

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
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    9,350
    Location:
    Jersey Highlands
    I am confused. What is the translation of 'ger'?
    #8
  9. Muscongus

    Muscongus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Warren, Maine
    Ger = Yurt.
    #9
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  10. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    Ger is original Mongolian, yurt is from Russian language and Mongolian people don´t like it.
    Sorry for my English, but in school I can learn Russian language only.
    #10
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  11. Asianrider

    Asianrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    268
    Great photos, solo adventure = win ! :beer
    #11
  12. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    7th day

    Beautiful, but chilli morning on steppe. I slept 2044 m a.s.l. In night two more storms, but somewhere on north in central mountain. At morning tea I decide to one more attempt. I don’t want go by main road. Main road is in reconstruction. Owner of company, who win deal for reconstruction is in jail for corruption. Reconstruction not finish yet. It is last 500km, where not asphalt between UB and Olgi. Road was one big construction site, dust, deep tracks, heavy trucks, horrible. I heading west north to direction to Uliastaj by local roads. And I will see.
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    I swing on motorbike in nice small hills, good gravel road in steppe, easy navigation. After 120 km I passed mountain pass. Beautiful landscape open front off me. But full off lakes, water was everywhere. Road are destructed on many places by mud and wild water. 15 km before Galut I meet first car today. Big Landcruiser on big wheels, like “Torleidi” on Iceland. I stop they and ask by few mongolian words.

    “Is bridge in Galuut?”

    “No.”

    “How much water is in river?”

    They show me half of door, it is more then 1m. It is too deep. I said "bayarlalaa" (Thank you) and turn back my bike.
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    After 30 km of returning way I switched from main road direction Bumbugur. But before me is mountain rich, no high but without road. I meet local motorbiker with empty tire. I help him repair it. But ho not understand my questions about roads and bridges. I stooped at gers and used GPS (Ger Position System). There was few gers, many cows, few off-road cars. No pure people and they speak Russian! Oh great. They invite me to lunch. Young sheep and noodles, tea, vodka. Delicious. They was veterans and they study in Russia. We talked about winter, last year was only little “dzud”. It is very low temperature or to much snow or both together. Cattle cannot find grass and die. Temperature in winter can be -40°C. They was in military service in Cholbasjan, where I was ten years ago. They love fly fishing etc. etc.
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    They recommend me direct road to Narintel on south. But it is on main road. They recommend me second road, directly to Bumbugur. I crossed plane with mud, yesterday they was river. I meet taxi from UB, they repair something on front axle. Driver told me, that my road is good, no rivers and directions to Bumbugur.
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    After 50 km I little bit lost, I switched to much to north and I finished in area with small gorges. I run up to small hill and corrected directions. By side of old volcanos I am continue by good gravel road to Bumbugur. Aprox. 30km before village I saw big storm with heavy rain just before me. But I was lucky, only few rain drops hit me and storm avoid me.
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    Bumbugur is village from bad dream. Nothing here, few ugly houses, one shop, one petrol station (80 OCT). From Bumbugur I must continue by main road. Every other directions are impossible. Between me and next village Buucagan (60km) are only old volcanos and the biggest black lava field, what I ever seen. Lava fields are interrupted by big river – Olzijt gool. Way by main road are torture. Dust, big trucks, hot. Before bridge are gorge, where constructed road are damaged by muddy flood. Big excavators help heavy trucks escape from mud. Bridge is very good, concrete. But river under bridge is ugly, black, overflowed. On next way I meet car from UB, they has engine outside from car. Also seats was dismounted from car and driver with friend seating on seats and waited for spare parts. I leaved valley and lava field. Depressive landscape finished. Around me is desert, but normal, no Mordor.

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    In Buucagan had 92 OCT petrol, great. At municipal well I asked for next directions to Kureemaral. They only wave by hand along electric power – 100 km (after GPS – Ger Position System, power line is next possibility how you can navigate in Mongolia). Ladscape is still desert, but with grass after rain, sometimes flowers, sometimes hill. I didn't meet any car, any people. I felt very lonely. In Kureemaral I also asked local people for road. I know direction, I can select correct power line, but is very good that local people remember me and know my directions. First was abandon flat country, but after 50 km was many old volcanos around me. Green grass, old volcanos, fresh wind, I felt like on Iceland. Nice sun set. I built tent on small hill with beautifully view. I am 2340 m a.s.l. But there I not heard any birds. I felt very lonely. Just before sun set I saw small group of sheep on hirizont and on road (sand and gravel lines in grass) went one car. Today I passed 350 km. It is many, but I want leaved from depressive volcanic desert.

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    #12
  13. Cyclenaut

    Cyclenaut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Desert S.W.
    Great RR & beautiful images
    #13
  14. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
  15. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    412
    Location:
    berkshire county
    excellent ride report and photos, i’ll be following along. safe travels and best regards,

    johnnyg
    #15
  16. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

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    S-Cal
    Wow! Great adventure. Excellent descriptions and photos. EPIC
    #16
  17. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

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    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    :lurk
    #17
  18. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    8th day

    Rain was whole night and also on morning. Not storm, but still rain. Volcanos are in clouds. I prepare soup on cooker just front of tent, I am in sleeping bag. In last shop I bought Chinese soup, is very hot, I cant finish. Rain finished, I pack tent. I don't have key from bike. I must unpack tent and find key. Motorbike don't start. When I packed, water bag fall down to gear level and put first gear. Engine start, good, great bike!
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    I followed power line 20 km to Bayanbulag. Piste was rolled, it is better to go along in steppe. Landscape are beautifully. Heavy clouds, sometimes sun shine, good lights for photos of volcanos. I don't know that west central Mongolia is volcano landscape. Before village is water everywhere, I found small path and I crossed lake dry. Just before village I saw motorbike. They stooped, women and man wear helmet. Normal orange helmet for construction. Everybody in village use same orange helmets. There is strict police. Mongolian not use helmet normally.
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    In shop I bought water. Group of Toyota arrived, Chines tourist. Drivers speak English and Russian and offered me, that I go together in group. They go fast, but I drove rally past time and I have time for photo taking. We ascent to mountains, along lake Sangij Dalaj nuruu, 2600 m a.s.l. Pass with ovoo 2800 m a.s.l. Landscape are not volcanos, but top off high mountains. I meet first yaks. Flowered meadows, smelling mint and wild garlic. We cross first clear river by bridge. Drivers catch grayling fish. We passed aprox 150 km across nice landscape.
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    In Otgon village petrol station was close. Guide found service man in village and cars and me take full tanks. Everywhere used 92 OCT petrol. Guide offered me, that I can go together with cars directly to Otgon mountain from east. But in map is river. He not sure, how much water is in river cross. I see to valley, where we continue and there was black cloud and heavy rain. I divide from group, I will try to go to Otgon mountain from west. Otgon mountain is holy mountain. 10 years ago there died 20 alpinist.

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    Heavy rain arrive to village and I wait in petrol service house. Small cabin with two chair. Service man show me photo of children, I show him my children. But we didnt understand nothing. Power is down, petrol station not work. At petrol station is queue of off-road cars. Rain finished but on direction to Uliastaj is other heavy rain. I found small cabins (camp?) for travellers. I have dry, good cabin with heavy bed. But doesn't matter, is dry. I walked in village, bought beer. By storm there is not internet connections. I remember, that 10 years ago was GSM signal only in bigger cities. Boss of camp offer me dinner. She called to friend who speak Russian. “What do you want?” “Some meat with potato.” I got big portion of mutton on onion with potato and lot of fat. It was good, but too fat and too much. Maybe potato there are more expensive then mutton.
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    Night was busy. Travellers (Mongolian family) arrived in late night and wake up before 6 clock.
    #18
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  19. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    9th day

    Chilli and clear morning, 3° C, white frost on seat. I slept 2600 m a.s.l. I drove up to mountains by green valley. Sometimes mud, bud road was good. On plateau was green grass, many gers, yaks, marmots, eagles, flowers, sheep. Pass with ovoo was 2600 m a.s.l. Road was really bad, it is main road to Uliastay from south. When I descent along small river from mountain I was shocked. First trees after one week. Many gers, many yaks, many marmots.
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    I switched to south to Tsagaanchulut for petrol. It was not good idea. There not petrol. I continued next 70 km to Tariat, but there I also cannot find petrol station. And I dint have enough petrol for back way north to Uliastaj. I was crossing village and looking who has off-road cars GAZ. Obviously they have petrol in barrels. I found and young boy lead me to small house on opposite side of village. He opened small window in white wall and give me petrol pipe trough iron net in window. 92 OCT, I tanked full tanks.
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    I am returned back to north. I slept in grass field two pass before Uliastaj, next storm and heavy rain was in mountains. Today I did 320 km.
    #19
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  20. beba

    beba Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Czech republic
    10th day

    Night without rain, but many lightning on east above desert. Morning I cross one pass direction to Uliastay. Before final pass I switched to mountain valley. Green grass, clear water, forest, yaks, gers, goats, paradise after desert! I took bath in river. If I don't count swim with motorbike in dark overflooded river, it was first bath on my way. First clear river after nine days. I short slept on grass, but goats wake-up me.
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    I want tried road directly across high mountain pass to Otgon valley. But road was abandoned, damaged by water. I must return back. Suddenly red light flash on my dashboard. Engine was over heated. I just switch off it. I check bike, but nothing. Every pipe are OK, enough water in cooler system. I tried start. After few minutes overheating red light. BUT! I didn't hear fan! Fan or thermostat switch is broken. After few minutes I determined switch. I disconnect it and reconnect fan to turn light switch. When I go slowly or up, I simple switch fan manually.
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    I returned back to bridge and went up to pass 2542 m under Uliastay. Beautifully view point. In Uliastay I found servis. I meet medicine doctor from local hospital. She spoke Russian and help! They took car and my switch and tried every shops in city. But they are not successful, Chinese bikes has little sensor. They dismount my thermoswitch a repair it by hammer (It is normal, I can make myself). Switch works. I bought few beers and beef can (very good) and went up to Otgon valey.
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    #20
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