Monday, 21 July 2014

Day 21 Saturday July 19th. Tsagannuur Mongolia

Up and away from our luxury hotel in Last town of Russia. Dave went out and bought breakfast, cheese, bread and an apple.
Geoff's back a little better this morning, and when we set off he lead the way and remained standing on the foot pegs to try and give his back a rest from the constant bumping of the road.
We went the 30 miles to the Russian exit border and were very pleasantly surprised by the efficiency with which they processed our embarkation.

We had to park our bikes on the road and walk to the border guard point, and Geoff's bike was too close to vertical and as he set off walking the bike fell over on the right hand side. All helped to right the bike and Geoff relocated and made. Sure the bike had a good lean against the side stand. He set off again to the border post and now the bike fell over on the left side !! Again all helped to right the bike, but now it continued to pour petrol out of the carburettor drain pipe. This was just the moment the guard decided to wave us through, so had to go through with the petrol turned off.
Now whilst being processed at customs we had a look but could see nothing obviously wrong. So continued into no mans land with petrol switched off. Let the flat bowl empty a couple of times and refill and then checked again. Now all well no petrol leak. Seemed the bike didn't like falling consecutively on its left and then right!! Geoff is now the outright leader in the horizontal club with three dropped bike occasions.

We now rode about 10 km and came upon a wire gate across the road. a guard came out and simply wrote down our registration numbers and had a quick look at our passports and waved us through. Brilliant we thought that's the way it should be to enter a country.

Another 10 km along the road and we arrive at a more impressive border complex. All gates locked, and nobody to be seen.

We waited next to a spray disinfection point which a person came and. Filled up with water from a local stream. We waited and waited, and Geoff decided to get a brew on, so unloaded his stove and camping pots and sure enough after we had been waiting 1hr 40 mins this was the moment they decided to open the gates. There was only us and another car within all that time which was surprising considering this is one of only here entry points into Mongolia.
We now went into the main building to be "processed"
This was an interesting experience with filling in multiple forms and then queuing at different hatches waiting for different officials to do their little bit.
One woman chose Geoff to ask for 500 roubles. He said what for and she shrugged her shoulders and after a few I don't understand replies from Geoff she said it was to pay for the disinfection. Geoff then said "Nyet" disinfection and were not paying. She looked concerned, consulted the original immigration woman and the decided not to make an issue of it.
So eventually we were through and into Mongolia in total from arriving at the Russian exit border to riding in Mongolia took 4hours 30 mins!

No sooner started to ride in Mongolia than we were waved down and had to pay an environment tax and also some form of bike insurance, but given that the total cost for all four of us was just £20 we are not sure it will be worth anything in the event of an incident.

So now into Mongolia and the first thing you realise is that there are no Tarmac roads. So we are on corrugated tracks that will shake the bikes to death. If there is something going to come loose then these roads will certainly test them.

We stopped and camped at a lovely spot by the side of a lake and whilst Frank tried to work out why his bike battery was dead the rest of us cooked tuna and tomato pasta, and then corned beef stew. It was all absolutely delicious.

YouTube Video

The consensus of opinion on Franks bike is that he had left his lights and ignition on, but he won't admit it!!

More later

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