Day 33: Towards Tosontsengel
6/29/2016 9:35 PM
Today after driving the southern route my plan is to take me to northern option.
I found earlier on GPS log that the route I had planned took somebody two days to finish, but as it was less than 400km I thought that I will just do it in one day.
A bit earlier tan 08:00 I was ready to ride again after having my usual morning coffee.
Few kilometers out from the city and paved road ended.
After this was rally nice gravel road for next 200km until Uliastai.
Some bridges on the way.
and really nice good track going via green fields.
And multiple tracks going same direction. Usually this was a sign that something difficult was ahead.
There had been lots of rain lately and some of the tracks were in really poor condition. If it would have been raining now, this route would not be very enjoyable with a big bike and would have turned into survival ride rather than enjoyable one.
Some water crossings, again a lot of loose smaller and bigger rocks on the bottom.
Some parts on route had big round holes on the road. Now that they were all dry no problem with them, but once filled with water it would have been really difficult to ride through them as there was no way of knowing what is in the bottom, mud, rocks etc. and there was no way around them as on other side was hill and other side was a drop to old river bed.
Some of the bridges were not in use and this is how road block is marked in Mongolia, just put some rocks to the road.
This bridge was not for trucks, only less than 8t. River was running quite well, so with bike alone, no go via that.
It was also getting darker once I got to the mountains, rain was approaching.
I think this was the highest point on this route, some 2500m.
Once I got down to Uliastai road changed a lot. There was new road being built and was partially already done and it was really a shitty one: full of holes and really impossible to drive as bike was shaking just too much.
And it started raining. Not much, did not bother to put rain suite on and it stopped after a while as well. Just made a mess everywhere on the bike and in my clothes.
By the side of the new road there were still running old tracks so everywhere possible I just took those. And of course they had some water crossings as well. This one was quite deep, almost got stuck in here.
Really enjoyable tracks, but lots of loose soft sand which needed some extra attention.
I had made good progress during the day, but as it had been really technical hard driving standing up all the time, I was loosing fast my strengths. Took few extra stops just to regain some of that, but eventually it still got to me.
Downhill with lots of soft sand got to me and I fell. And of course there was a hard shoulder in the middle into which I hurt myself.
No serious damage, just the usual fog light broken, mirror loose, side case bent, clutch handle and engine protection bar bent as well but it did it’s job well and no damage to the engine, not even the cover!
I was feeling something on my hip and knee, but no bones broken or anything I could at least feel at this point.
Got the bike standing, fixed the mirror on the spot and started turning the bike. At this point there was a car approaching, two men and they stopped to help me to turn the bike down hill again. One of them spoke good English, he said that he was running motorbike tours here in Mongolia.
Drove extra carefully last 20 km to the Tosontsengel but still was a bit nervous and especially when soft sand ahead. Eventually go there and drove directly to the hotel I had picked (out from two I guess there are).
Bike parked behind the hotel.
Hotel itself is quite crappy one, but got a room, no shower or toilet in the room but shower was available.
After shower went for a walk to find food. Again, no food found in restaurants, they were either closed or food that they had prepared was already gone. They seem to make this kind of home style food in here and don’t prepare just a portion of it for one.
So time to do some shopping, noodles, apples and some cookies for dinner. Good that I have a way to heat water.
Once I got to eat, went to see bike in more detail.
Got foglight fixed, good as new again.
For bended side case I did nothing, will fix that back home. I just hope that it holds water out, need to see that on the way if it starts raining. I do have some silicon and duck tape inside there to seal it.
Sid case frame was also somehow damaged, for that I used some hammer to get it more tightly in place again. Should get me back home.
Then I fixed clutch handle, not sure if it was only that or is the handlebar bent as well, will see that then tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning need to check myself, at the moment does not feel that bad, just my elbow and hip feels some pain but I believe I can live with those.
But plan for next few days will be changed, elbow does not feel that good that I will go into these smaller tracks anymore and I will start heading towards Ulaanbator using bigger roads. Road from here to UB should be paved except some 10km on the way.
This day was 379km in 8,5 hours out from which I was standing on the bike 8 hours. Really demanding parts on the way.
Total for the trip is now 14020 km.
Next to bed and to see tomorrow morning what is the feeling.