Thursday, August 03, 2006

The land without fences

Today we show up at the border around 10h30. Quite a few vehicles are already there lining up, but we just ride in front of the queue and go talk to the border guard ushering vehicles one after another. He’s pretty friendly and he even speaks a few words of English. Our status of bikers seems to work in our favor so he let us in before all the others. The other custom officers are also very kind (not at all like the Swiss customs), and always very interested in the bike (well the guys in any case). How much does it cost is the first questions, then how many cubic centimeters and how many cylinders, etc.. But after paying our Mongolian insurance and a 1 $ (!) entry fee of some sort, we’re in Mongolia, “only” 2 ½ hours later.

As my engine is running OK we decide to make a little detour to the monastery of Amrbayasgalant. The road to Ulaanbataar is excellent, better than most Russian roads, and it’s all straight and the temperature in the high 30’s, so I almost fall asleep, just missing a slow truck crawling up a hill. Fortunately we have 35 km of dirt track to reach the monastery.. it’s despised by most tourists doing it on a Russian jeep, but for us it’s fun and after all that’s what we’ve been looking for. The track is excellent and the landscape fabulous, just a couple river crossings to wet our socks and we reach the monastery. Anders wants to pitch the tents nearby, but I anyway go ask the price at the nearby ger camp, and at 6$ the night for a nice yurt with 2 beds I convince him. Good pick because it rains the whole night and most of the next day.

When the sun is back the ground dries up pretty quickly so we leave with the bikes empty and have a blast riding up the hills around. A wet dream for off-road bikers!


Blogger Pierd'o said...

Super aventure les gars ! Bravo pour votre courage et votre idéeal de liberté.

5:44 PM  

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