Thursday, 31 July 2014

Day 26 Thursday 24th July. Baruntoona Mongolia

We had decided to try and get an early start to complete the two remaining tyres, but in fact we got an early morning call from a whole herd of goats that came down to the river and through our campsite. As you are laid in your sleeping bag you have an image of goats passing through the campsite like locusts eating everything and anything they come across.

We completed the two remaining tyres, and it became evident that all this work had badly affected Geoff's back. He could not pack up his tent or put all his things onto his bike. The rest of the team did his packing for him and then Geoff tentatively rode around the campsite area to see whether he would be able to ride today. He decided he could try it and see how he gets on, so now the group had two infirm riders tentatively riding along.

The knobblies made a huge difference to how the bike handled, but often it seemed worse, the front end was trying to react to each and every bump and it was harder to keep the bikes on the line you wanted.

We rode into the next village about 10 miles from the campsite and stopped at the fuel station. it took us 1 and a half hours to establish that the fuel station operator was not available and that there was another fuel station at the other end of town!

We left that village again with great difficulty finding the correct track out of town, and then our troubles really started as we hit loose sand. Progress reduced to walking pace and in the heat of the day it was extremely draining trying to keep the bikes upright. Needless to say we never managed and there were frequent stops to help people pick up their bikes.

Geoff became desperate to gave a cold drink when in a village and would go from shop to shop looking for a one with a fridge. Late in the day we came to Barantuuna and Geoff bought everyone a nice lolly. Everyone was expecting a Magnum or similar, but what they got was a frozen plastic cup full of slightly flavoured horse milk. "When in Rome etc etc".

We rode just out of the village and followed the river upstream until we found a lovely campsite. There was a family of kites flying all around us and making a screeching noise until they eventually settled down to roost for the night.

Late that night there were people gathering at the side of a reservoir on a hill near the campo site. They were obviously having a good time, and were singing well into the night. During the day we had see on cars and cans driving in the local village with flags flying from their windows a bit like World Cup fever in the UK. Perhaps it was a national celebration day of some type?

Dave's bike was showing low power and also was starting to have a tappet type rattle. The power loss seemed to be caused by a burnt plug lead, but the tappet sound is still present.

More later RRs

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