Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Kharkhorin - Ulaanbaatar 20-27 August 2008

After our first proper coffee in many weeks, in a French run café in Kharkhorin, we started cycling out of Kharkhorin when we were stopped by a young woman on a bicycle who asked if we knew anything about computers. Tony does, so we followed her to her house to see if there was anything Tony could do. Unfortunately there wasn't as the system needed to be reinstalled and they could not find the system disks, but it was interesting meeting this young Mongolian student. We left late, but the road was good, asphalt!, and although we had head wind, we cycled the 80 km to the Mongol Els sand dunes in the afternoon. Maybe we did get fit after all, you just don't notice it struggling up hills on rough tracks ;-). The Mongol Els are a tourist attraction and this means that there are lots of gercamps around, so we stayed in a luxury ger camp with showers and good food. After strolling around the sand dunes for half a day we had another 2 days of smooth riding on good asphalt roads until we crossed the Tuul Gol at the village Lün. There used to be an asphalt road all the way between Ulaanbaatar and Kharkhorin, which is one of the busiest roads in mongolia. But now, from just outside Lün, 150 km west of Ulaanbaatar, til ca 10 km outside Ulaanbaatar, the old road was broken up and no alternative road was provided. So now we were back to Mongolian style 'roads', drive whereever you want, and we could choose between about a dozen different tracks across the whole width of the valley. Apparently, this had been like this for 2 years; imagine them doing this in Europe! We stopped for half a day in Hustai national park, 100 km west of Ulaanbaatar, where we spotted several different types of falcons and, of course, the famous Przewalski horses. The last day cycling back to Ulaanbaatar was windy, wet and cold; the last 10-20 km cycling into and through Ulaanbaatar in crazy traffic is not something I would recommend, but we didn't have much choice. Back in Ulaanbaatar, we still had two days before our flight back, to clean everything, to enjoy the good food and try to fatten up a bit again.

Our route in this blog (green line)
Onze route in deze blog (groene lijn)

Mongol Els sand dunes
Mongol Els zandduinen

Insect tracks in the sand
Insektensporen in het zand


Main road from Kharkhorin to Ulaanbaatar
Hoofdweg van Kharkhorin naar Ulaanbaatar

One of the many herds of sheep and goats
Een van de vele schapen en geiten kuddes

Pedestrian crossing? Where to?
Voetgangersoversteek? Waarheen?

Our campsite along the Tuul Gol near Lün
Campingplek langs de Tuul Gol bij Lün

The last 150 km to Ulaanbaatar - 'roadworks'
De laatste 150 km naar Ulaanbaatar - opgebroken weg


No comments: