Today we have a relaxing 230 km due south to Barnaul. This is where we had our tires and oil shipped from Moscow and where we will meet of with Wolfgang. He left Hamburg 7 days ago and will have come 6000 km in 8 days to catch up with us.
It is as predicted another straight pretty boring ride thru Siberia. We had slightly cooler weather at 28 degrees.
We got a late start at 11 and so rolled into the hotel in Barnaul at about 3. It is Sunday and almost everything is closed.
We had to walk 40 minutes to find a restaurant that was open. We managed to get back in time to meet Wolle as he rolled into town. We would have missed him, but he had his first flat ever an hour before Novosibirsk. He has stayed in the same hotel in Tatarsk last night as we had. Small world.
We had bought some Russian caviar and bubbles to celebrate our reunion.
Wolfgang also came bearing gift he had brought from Louis for us.
The tire deliver guys= Andrew also showed up this evening with our order.
The plan today was to meet Andrew at the shop to get the 10 tires fitted, change the oil and change air filters on 3 bikes and the chains and sprockets on 2. It is of course raining!
Orvar had ordered an air filter and when he checked his that was “supposed” to have been replaced in Novosibirsk 3 days ago it was full of bugs and clearly not new. Proof they never did the valve check.
The set up here is far from idea there is no room in the shop for the bikes. The shop owner showed up an hour late and it rained on and off all day. This meant swapping out the tires and filters and changing the oil between downpours. When changing the oil on the 650 we could not get the filter off and actually broke the weld on the remove tool. We will leave it until we are in civilization to deal with. The guys in Tbilisi cranked it on way too tight. When we took out the drain plug we thought was the source of the leak we also found they had 2 crush washers in there. WTF you can not trust anyone! Andrew was asked several times for the shop location and never sent it this meant we blindly picked a hotel location that turned out to be on the total opposite side of the city. Top it off that Andrew pinched the tube on Orvar’s bike as well. This was a long and frustrating day. We arrived at 9 and left at 330. If we did this again would use a proper bike or tire shop.
Well at least it is finally sunny out, it is Monday, and that means pizza and Game of Thrones!
We have 890 km to Ulgii, the first major town across the Mongolian border and the exit from Russia according to FB friends who crossed last week was 5 hours. This means it will be a 3 day affair to get it done.
For the first leg we wanted to get as far as Onguday in 445 km since this is the only place with at least a few hotels listed on line or maps.me.
It had poured rain in the night, but it was dry when we set and and for most of the day. We had one short rain shower and we waited out the second very heavy rain at a gas station. The storm was moving fast and after 20 minutes we had sunny skies for most of the rest of the day. There is much more interesting scenery today with farms and trees and some more hilly landscape.
Arriving to Onguday it was starting to spit rain. We checked out a few places, and settled on a rooming house for 500 R each (8 USD). It was simple, but clean and they had lots of hot water. We had quiet a good dinner there also for 200 R each.
There are some beautiful wood houses here.
On our walk after dinner we could see the storm coming and just made it back before it started torrentially raining. This lasted thru some of the night, but we woke to bright blue skies.
We have decided to not try for the border today since if we did that it might end up a 12 hours nightmare. This means we have an easy 257 km to Kosch-Agatsch. This is still 51 km from the border, but border towns are always unpleasant and there is only 1 lodging place listed there. At least in K-A there are 4 hotels. We did not get breakfast at the hotel as their restaurant was not open. We made a quick coffee and headed out. We made a quick coffee and headed out.
The ride today was so much nicer with hills and curves and views of the rivers, lakes, and mountains. We came across this “alter” and standing stones. Nearby there was a sports pitch for the game of Buzkashi.
After about 100 km we found a town with a bakery and a shop where we could get some fresh baked loves and some meat and cheese to serve up on the road side.
It was nice to have a relaxed day where we could stop for photos and to enjoy the views.
Time for a little side trip to see the “house of bones”
We went for the first hotel listed on the GPS and they had rooms and good parking.
We checked the 650 oil and it is down! AGH! Ok take off the bash plate, clean, and inspect. The oil pan puncture Sara had in Peru in 2014 seems to be the culprit. The old pan is a mess from the old bash plate that trapped rocks and caused the puncture in the first place. Dan places a large JB weld patch and topped up the oil. Not much we can do now, but we will replace the pan in KL. Also some good news today Electrosport has been kind enough to agree to send us 2 stators UPS to Ulanbaatar!
We walked about 2.5 km into town and found an open nice looking cafe and the lovely owner spoke fairly good English. This meant we got actually what we wanted for dinner!!