Thursday, 31 July 2014

Day 31 Tuesday 29th July. Ikhuul northern Mongolia

Dave up first as usual and after making a brew set off fishing again, and miracle upon miracle he caught his first fish. Admittedly it was only six inches long and he had to put it back but a fish is a fish. On balance I wonder whether Pail, Geoff and Dave all caught the same stupid fish six times!!

Good riding first thing and we made excellent progress.

The night before there had been a couple of minor resin periods and there were some puddles in the tracks. Straight away Paul's bike started to misfire and stop. We just waited a few minutes and then he is good to go again. We have not been able to locate this problem now for almost a year. It s most frustrating especially for Paul who has searched and searched for the problem. The only thing we have not checked or changed is the pulse sender unit inside the engine, but none of us really belief that this could exhibit an intermittent problem in the wet that dries out very quickly when you have a hot engine.

We came to a village and Geoff went to the bank to change some US dollars. There were three people in front of him in the queue, and the single cashier was working at doing something with them all the time, however to complete the transactions of three customers took 45 mins!! When it eventually came to his turn the whole transaction only took 5 mins so we do not know what they were doing. Year end reconciliation? VAT? However we eventually turned our $160 into 300,000tsk and we were good to go and buy petrol etc.

We came to a large town called Moron and when we came out of town we were on a brand new tarmac road. At first we were exhilarated but then quickly we started to miss the tough tracks.

We stopped and had a brew and decided to make good progress on the tarmac road. Whilst we were stopped we noticed two very large birds of prey just sat about 40 yds away. We took photos as best we could and then walked towards them to make them fly. They were either very big eagles or some form of vulture.

After a while the new tarmac road was blocked by barriers and we were directed onto tracks again. We noticed that other drivers were just ignoring this and driving back onto the new tarmac road. We did the same, and at about every 10 km there would be a barrier mad of soil blocking the road. We had great fun riding over these barriers and finding ways onto and off the tarmac road. The construction workers were not bothered at all by four bikers using their new road.

Later we came across a really drunken driver who was driving all over the road, going fast and overtaking us and then slowly waiting for us to pass again. We became really wary of this individual and if he had stopped were very close to the point of taking his keys away and throwing them into the undergrowth.

Arrived at a town called Ikhuul and stocked up with vegetables and set off for the river to camp. The river is ok but not as clear as the rivers we have camped beside before.

Geoff cooked and made a stew with potatoes, turnips the size of pickled onions, onions and beef from a tin with a picture of a cow on the outside. It did look like dogfood, but it tasted great.

Stop press news Dave has just broken his fishing rod!! We are all thinking how best to joint it and brace it sufficiently to allow him to continue fishing!

The evening was spoilt right at the end when a drunken motorcyclist came to our campsite which is right next to the ferry crossing. We shared a tot of vodka with him and he appears to have stolen the stainless steel shot glass that Dave's sons bought him as a present for the journey. People all around the world can disappoint you with their behaviour!!

Geoff noticed a numb feeing in his right knee, and it is still the same in the morning??

More later
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  1. A whole new raft of nicknames for individual members are being created!! Enjoy the BAM experience guys. Love Savi

  2. Frankie -
    Glad you've recovered after you're ' off' . I'm sure recovery was helped by morale boost of visiting the town named after you .... What an occasion but sad no pictures of you next to road sign Moron ! Stay safe all of you . Jeremy

  3. I've got withdrawal symptoms! Presume the interwebs are a bit scarce out there...
    Go carefully, Marc