Thursday, 31 July 2014

Day 30 Monday July 28th. Northern Mongolia

Set off in the morning and within half a mile Paul was saying his bike had lost all performance. We took off the underpant patented pre-filter and away the bike went perfectly. We are all amazed at how sensitive the air intake is, but maybe it's a combination of high altitude and also restricted air flow?

During the day Geoff twice lost his tank bag which he now keeps strapped with bungee straps on top of one of his side panniers. This contains all his electronic gear and important documents ( passport etc.). He never even noticed that it had come off when bouncing over a big dip in the road. In the end Frank got sick of having to stop and pick it up so he strapped it to his bike and refused to give it back to Geoff saying he would give him lessons in how to strap items onto a bike. Dave insisted that for the day Geoff should be referred to as "bagman"! As we travel along we are all losing bottles of water etc. due to the bumpy roads, and it is the job of the person travelling behind to collect them.

We same across a river with a rickety wooden bridge that looked like it would fall down at any minute. We all went and inspected it and decided how we would pick our line tentatively across the bridge. Just as we were about to cross a large lorry laden with logs just bounced across the bridge making all the already loose planks on the bridge even looser! We all got across and were thinking this is the first of many such situations we will face on the BAM road.

Beautiful days riding on much better tracks than across the plains. Some of the scenery is stunning.

We came over a high pass and there beneath us was a wide river snaking its way through a valley. We stopped at a nice camp site area and swam, washed and fished. Geoff caught two 6" fish and Paul three about the same size, but Dave's first fish continues to elude him. All fish were put back unharmed!

Frank cooked a beautiful meal of mackerel on fried bread as a starter followed by corned beef with onions and potatoes.

Geoff searched through his emails and found a phone number for a motorbike spare parts company he had used back in 2013, and called them on the satellite phone. They were very helpful and having taken Geoff's credit card details agreed to send by air mail four air filters for Honda Dominators to our contact in Irkutsk where we are due to pick up the tyres. It's amazing what you can do with a phone, an iPad and a credit card!!

More later
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