STEPPE OUT

STEPPE OUT

Hi all. I'm 40. I am not married. I have a daughter, a Bay Area mortgage, and a full time job. Like a lot of you, I log in here to ADVrider and read about people on trips to far away lands. My mind drifts. I imagine myself on a motorcycle, riding through the Alps, through the steppe, over the Vitim Bridge... My mind drifts back to reality. I finish my coffee and look around and realize that where I am in suburbia is so far from where my body and soul wants to be. I decide to do a trip to Mongolia. I make calls and send emails: who wants to go somewhere and ride motorcycles and camp and meet people and have an adventure?

At Cheke's, there were several bikes out in the yard. A couple of them looked a little rough on the outside. I met two other guys who had come to rent bikes as well. They both were strapping backpacks onto the bikes. One, an Austrian named Franz, told me that he and this Spanish guy were going East to Gorkhi Terelj National Park for a few days. They had not considered renting motos until they met someone who had rented from Cheke.


As we were about to head out, Cheke came out with some milk and said a blessing over the bike. She sprinkled milk on the tires and foot pegs. The Austrian and Spaniard headed out and I asked Cheke for directions toward Kharkorin. She gave me some pretty general/rough directions to cut throughKhustain Nuruu National Park . I was off.


I followed Cheke's directions out of town, and ended up riding around valleys and gravel pits for the next two hours. I tried using my GPS, but it just gave me a straight line to the GPS coordinates Cheke had given me for the park. She had told me to "look for a road going up and over the hills". Thanks Cheke. I'll keep an eye out for that, because I'm sure there is only one.

It was pretty out there in parts. I stopped to take a photo of the first bunch of horses I came across. Dust from the gravel trucks are is the background....

On the way back to UB, I got stopped at a police checkpoint. They asked me for my passport. I left my passport with Cheke as my deposit for the bike. I gave them the photocopies of my passport and international driving permit, as well as the registration for the moto.


After some discussion with another officer, the first officer comes back and points at my plate. He then points to the registration. The numbers do not match! Cheke had given me the wrong registration. I called her up and had her talk to the officer. The officer handed me the phone back. "Pay him T10000 and I'll reimburse you when you get back" Cheke told me. I told her that I was down the street from her place and would come and pick up the correct registration. That wasn't going to happen... Come to find out, she gave my registration to either the German or Spaniard. Great! She also told me to keep track of how many times I had to pay this fine and she would pay me back when I returned. Oh well, off to UB. Let's see how this plays out.

I arrived at the Oasis after a rather exciting first ride through UB. 


I installed a SAE connector from Powerlet onto the battery. I had a cigarette type adapter and a 2 USB adapter so that I could charge electronics while camping. I adjusted the clutch and front and rear brakes so that they actually worked now.


I met Lukas M. and Lyndon Poskitt. Lukas was on his orange KTM 690 enduro with a Rally Raid kit. Lyndon was getting ready for Rally Mongolia.

I woke briefly at 0330 to hear Veronica stumbling in after her girl's nite. I drifted back to sleep for a couple of hours. I made my way to the kitchen of the Oasis and started the coffee. After a couple of cups of coffee, toast and jam, and a quick FaceTime over the wifi with my daughter I was off. My goal today was to make it out to the giant Genghis Khan statue, check out Gorkhi Terelj National Park, and make it back through UB and out to someplace to camp.


It was an easy ride out of the city to the statue. I figured that since it was a weekend, I should get out to the touristy stuff early. The roads were paved out to the statue. The outer industrial areas of UB gradually gave way to the countryside. My chinese bike buzzed away underneath me as I made my way out to the statue.

The statue of Genghis Khan overlooked a lush green valley. The statue itself is covered in stainless steel. It was pretty impressive from a distance and even more remarkable up close. There is a museum in the basement filled with relics from the Mongolian empire.

I got a parking space right up front and went to check the place out.


IF YOU WANT TO READ THE (QUITE LONG) FULL STORY, PLEASE CLICK HERE: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=980181