TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Mongolia Here We Come

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 6, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

We had a group round table breakfast, no photo, but the middle of the table is your standard Chinese turntable which had a vast selection of foods on it, just revolve it and grab what you want πŸ™‚ The bread was soft and the jam was tasty, I never could get used to noddles and spicy foods for brekky!! Packed and off to the bank, I needed some money for fuel, but also enough to get me through to the first stop in Mongolia where I hoped to find money changers. On the way I noticed a local campany with all its workers out front doing their morning Tai Chi exercise to the sound of very martial music, which you can hear in the video πŸ™‚


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After an hour and a half of boring riding in a very cool temperature we arrived at the border area. Here we were made to wait, and wait and wait 😦 It was very annoying, this morning Benny had recieved another phone call saying if we got there by 11am, we could get checked through and would then not need to wait until 4.30pm, which is when the customs guys come back from their extended lunch!!! So, we did get there in time and they did check out bikes before the cut off at 11.30am, but they then said, the paperwork is not ready come back at 4.30pm, the lousy F^&%$#ers, what a waste of time, but that is what happens when little people get some power!!! But, I did use the opportunity to fill the bike again, who knows where the next fuel would be?

So, we had time to walk into town, the bikes had been checked so they had to stay here now. We grabbed a bit of lunch at a hotel near to the road, while I went and found a shop where a chap said he ‘may’ be able to repair the switch on my headset. I have had a lot of electronics break down on this trip, the GPS, the camera, amongst them, but as long as I had my music I was happy. Well, bloody heck, this morning the switch broke off the circuit board on my head set. It was a surface mount switch and was still physically working, that is it would go click click, but I did not have a soldering iron. So, anyway, this guy reckoned he might be able to fix it and when I returned after lunch, he had by crikey and would not charge me for it either, brilliant!!

Check out the new bike, this should be able to keep me upright, and the crash bars are big and tough, what do you think eh!!!

Then it was back to the customs area and wait, wait, wait again!!!

Then finally at 5pm we were allowed to go to the actual border and start processing ourselves out of the country, we had been on ‘the go’ since 9am and were only now starting to exit China!!!!

This process was quite painless as we now had the all important paperwork and it was quite quick. We were soon on the way to the Mongolian entry side.

This was a looooong drawn out process, go to this line, check this, get that stamped, get the bike inspected, bring that stamp to that person and on and on and on 😦 With 8 bikes, one car and 9 people, this took about 1/2 an hour each and took a long time overall. We were all finally processed around 7pm and we knew it was around 60-80km to the nearest town, but the sun was going down fast. We rode for about 30km until we found a likely looking place to throw the tents up, off the paved road and up amongst the hills, our first night in Mongolia and camping!!!

If you look real close at that last photo, you can just pick out a dot on the top of the hill, that was Chris who had gone for a decko πŸ™‚ The night started to get real cool with the loss of the sun and we rushed a quick dinner in the dark then crashed out. I did manage to stay up long enough to see the stars come out, the first time I had spotted them for ages and there were heaps, all different to what I am used to back home in the southern hemisphere, but the Milky Way was thick and bright and Orion was easy to spot. The chill pushed me to bed early though. From tomorrow we had another deadline, we had to get to Ulan Batar in time to apply for our new China visas, this would take 5 days, we then had to leave UB with enough time to ride 750km south to the Erenhot border crossing by the 20th September. That meant we needed to be in UB by the 12th at the latest, which allowed us 6 days to ride 1,800kms! That is only 300kms a day, it sounds easy, but as we all know, deadlines are horrible things, we had no real idea on what the road conditions were going to be like, although ‘dirt’, ‘corrugations’ and ‘sand’ were going to be part of the mix with maybe a few water crossings as well, anyway, tomorrow is another day, today is over and we now have a new country to experience.

Cheers from somewhere in the west of Mongolia
TravellingStrom

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