Mongolia Part 3: Breakdowns and silver linings

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-27

It was raining all night and still pretty hard at 8 am. By the time we rolled out at 10 it was down to a drizzle.

The plan for the day was to try to get past Songrino to camp by a lake near there.

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We made a stop to check out the statue of the famous Mongolian wrestler in front of the sports palace.

Mongolia Khovd to Ulaangom_-29

Mongolia Khovd to Ulaangom_-30

We headed to the fuel station and met some Russian riders on small bikes.

Camp at rocks

We are unsure of how much of this is paved, but we were told by other riders that this distance was possible. We had been told the road was paved “for 50 km past the junction” what ever that means.

Camp at rocks-2

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-3

We only made it about 20 km when Trevor’s bike was really making noise. We stopped and found the rear bearing was destroyed. We are super thankful to the Perkins who we met in Sari-Tash on their Africa Twin as they warned him about the bearing issue. He had searched everywhere on line and there is nothing about bearing failure (20,000km). Also luckily Trevor still bought some bearings when we were in Bishkek otherwise it would be a truck and waiting 2-3 days for parts from Ulanbaatar. He took off the  wheel and Wolfgang packed it, while Dan packed Trevor back to town. Orvar and Sara set up a shelter with the tarp and relaxed.

Camp at rocks-3

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-4

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-6

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-5

We had a few visitors the first was a local biker who stopped to check out the twin and say hi. The next was 2 guys in a car who said hello, came to shake our hands, proceeded to top up their oil, and then toss the bottle into the ditch! There is an unbelievable amount of trash on the road side here for the small amount of traffic. My bad drivers = garbage theory is blown here since they are very courteous drivers who throw their trash out the window.

It was a quick fix as the first shop they went to got right on it and they were back in about 2 hours.

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-7

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-8

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-9

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Ulaangom to Wild Camp-11

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-12

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-13

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-14

While we were packing up a family arrived, stopped, unloaded and swarmed around us. They were super chatty (in Mongolian) and super curious. Just before they left they handed out big pieces of cheese to us all. We said thanks and tried it, but had to spit it out after they left. It was like very salty and very sour Parmesan.

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-16

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-18

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-19

This small break down will change our planned destination for sure and we will just have to see how it goes. We headed out again at 3 and in the end found there was 250 km of paved road in total.

Camp at rocks-5

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-15

Not too far along the road we had these guys posing for us.

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Ulaangom to Wild Camp-21

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-23

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-22

We made a stop  at one local place, but it did not look very clean. We met a few local here including this nice couple on a bike who we  saw several other times today along the road. They had to drive a very long way to buy what ever they needed. We had to settle for Choco Pies.

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-24

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-25

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-29

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-30

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-31

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-32

More Camels!!


Ulaangom to Wild Camp-33

Camp at rocks-8

Camp at rocks-9

Camp at rocks-10

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-36

Today our lunch stop was finally in Naranbulag and it was a busy place and we had goat and rice and some goat dumplings (buzz). Several of the local were keen to get to try out the big bikes, but none of us took them upon it. One particular guy in a pink long coat and “cowboy” hat was very insistent and perhaps a bit drunk. They were also butchering a goat out back of the shop. Along the road we saw a few camels and the vast landscapes.

Camp at rocks-11

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-26

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-28

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-34

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-35

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-37

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-38

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-39

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-40

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-41

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-42

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-43

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-44

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-45

When we got to the end of the paved road we had to decide on a camp spot. There is a lake about 10 km from the road, but these are small standing water holes with livestock and not too appealing.

Camp at rocks-12

Camp at rocks-13

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-48

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-49

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We had passed some interesting rock formations about 5 km back and though that would be cool and would offer some shelter from the wind and we could be away from the road.

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Camp at rocks-16

Camp at rocks-18

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-50

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-51

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-52

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-53

The sky tonight is looking better for some Astral photography and we are keen to see the Persieds meteors too. We set up camp and cooked up a nice Russian beef in a can dinner. We had an incredible lightning show from a massive cloud in the distance that was luckily moving away from us.

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-54

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-55

The stars tonight were amazing. We saw a lot of fast moving satellites and tons of meteors. They were as bright a emergency flares and with long red tails. We are only at 1200 m and so it was cool after sunset, but not freezing.

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-56

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-57

Ulaangom to Wild Camp-62

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7 Responses to Mongolia Part 3: Breakdowns and silver linings

  1. Robert Hayes says:

    Great story and amazing pics……enjoy following your journey…


  2. Danielle says:

    Hi guys,
    So Sara did you feel almost tall in Mongolia?? I love the pink and blue “coats ” the locals were wearing. The driving over the last 2 posts looks very challenging. so glad you got through all of the various “road” surfaces safely!!!
    Love reading about your adventures . So glad you have a cohesive group to travel with. Take care and have fun!
    ox Danielle

    • Daniel says:

      You and I would fit right in my friend! I know the coats are like fashion sleeping bags to wear. Yes I had to stay in the mental game for sure…tough at times. Yes our group travels well together thru thick and thin. Sara

  3. Rod McDonald says:

    Fantastic photos ..thank you for taking the time to post and fill us in on the background. My very best wishes ride with you!

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