We left Moron the following morning after a sausage and egg breakfast at the hotel. I don’t know what it is about Mongolia but whenever we had a meal in a cafe or hotel, you don’t get knives. It became a bit of amusement as I’d have to get my Gerber knife off the bike.
Sure enough, 2 miles out of the town the tarmac ended and the dirt began. I still couldn’t read the signs without really using my crib sheet that was in the tank bag. The second one looked a bit like “Fart” though
It was nice going, the surface was good and the tracks were nice. We were the first on these for the day I think and the light overnight rain hadn’t yet dried. Unfortunately this caught Paul out though as what looked like a hardpack sand berm was actually just soft sand and it didn’t do any help on getting him around the corner when he used it. I was right behind Paul at the time and it was quite spectacular as he was going at a decent speed and launched himself off the bike into a quite elegant roly poly. He later mentioned this was all on purpose to protect his shoulder and arm as he didn’t want to put them out and risk breaking them. Sensible man!
While I was having a laugh at his expense and getting my camera out, a chap coming the other way helped Paul lift the bike up. The horses didn’t seem amused, what long faces.
The scenery and riding conditions this day were great. Nothing too technical and good tracks. We passed yurts, green valleys, streams and rocky hills. This was brilliant and we were having a great time. At one point, still learning that tracks mostly all meet up somewhere, Paul and I got split up. I’d taken the southerly track and him the northerly one. There was nothing to worry about but since it was the first day I was a bit concerned that in a perfectly flat place, with nobody around, that I’d lost Paul. I backtracked a few km and even paid attention to the tracks at the forks to see which way he had gone. Eventually found him about 45 minutes later. He was parked up having a rest after racing 2 local kids on their Shineray. They beat him fair and square. Local knowledge, small bikes and the gift of youth (The kids, not Paul )
Here are some photos from the awesome riding condition that day.
We stopped for some water in a little town. Most town had a couple of shops and perhaps a cafe. They often doubled as people’s houses too. I think this one was a cafe but they sold us some water. I didn’t fancy the meat dish.
The monuments where the blue ribbons are tied to are everywhere. I believe it’s a prayer ribbon and symbolises the blue sky. This one also had money placed under rocks so Paul and I did our part and hoped it would perhaps bring us good luck.
There were a few of these little critters hiding around in the rocks. Quite amusing to watch.
One thing I never got a good photo of were the eagles. There are plenty of them everywhere. Later in the trip I saw about 18 all in the sky at once. Magnificent, shame about the photos.
The riding was absolutely brilliant. What a great country (and X-Country)
This family called us over as we were riding past. People would often do that and they just wanted a chat and to meet you. Fabulous people. He even fancied a swap I reckon.
We’d covered about 100 miles which really was good on our first day offroad. Mongolia is that type of place where around every corner, over every hill, down every valley and in every town you want to stop and take a photo and we’d been doing just that. It takes up a lot of time but it’s worth it.
We left the track and went up behind some hills so we weren’t visible from the road and set up camp for the night. We weren’t scared or threatened but we just wanted to chill out and prefered not to have curious passerbys waking us up too early.
We set up camp, cooked our food, had a coffee and chat and called it a night. Paul’s food was amusing, he’d bought 2 types and one was “Mountain House” freeze dried food. He wasn’t keen and I must admit, it looked like baby sick, even if it did taste ok apparently. I’d stick with my “Look what we found”, not many calories and heavy, but delicious and mixed in with some rice.
We hoped every day would be like this, it was amazing.