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Is it better to travel than arrive…?

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OK, so we had arrived at our destination – Ulaanbaatar – exotic city of eastern mystery, fabled centre of Gengis Khan’s legendary empire, magical destination on the Silk Road. Well actually it wasn’t founded until around 1639 (well after Genghis’s time), it’s never been on the Silk Road (that runs much further south of the Gobi desert) and, to be…

Faces of Mongolia

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Young Mongolian horseman. He was probably on a horse before he could walk.

Leon charms the locals as the crowd gathers

And you thought we were mad! This guy was cycling from UB to his home in Austria

Andrew asks where the nearest recruiting office is

Sorry, but I'm not sure we will have a uniform big enough for you…

Riding all the the way to Ulaanbataar my body sweats and my a*** is sore…

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Subtle allusion in the title for those of you have read the ‘Why?’ section and they will also get the slight twist on the wording – and you thought this thing was just thrown together!
There was a slightly strange mood as we packed up this morning. We would be hitting UB today (unless the roads suddenly deteriorated – which…

Psssst….wanna buy a used inner tube? Very good, very cheeep.

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Wake as it gets light, untangle myself from sleeping bag liner (ripping it more in the process), peer out of the tent and see if it really is time to get up. Roll around in the confines of the very small one-man tent and drag smelly, dusty riding gear on and emerge blinking into the sunlight to face another day.…

2 Snickers, a can of Coke and a quarter of midget gems please

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Jeff went for Sunday around 17.00 – his was the earliest estimate, mind you he had to go for Sunday really as that was the day we had always been scheduled to arrive. Other guesstimates ranged from late Sunday through to midday on Wednesday! Several people had flights booked out of Ulaanbaatar for early Monday morning, so along with our…

Giant steps are what you take walking on the moon

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Basically there are two most commonly used routes from the western border crossing at Tsagaanuur to Ulaanbaatar – the northern route via Ulaangom and Moron ( ) and the southern route via Khovd, Altai and Bayankhongor. We weren’t going to use either of these, we would forge our way by a more central route which would be much quieter in…

River deep, mountain high…but mostly river deep

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I had woken several times during the night to hear rain battering on the ger (much quieter than a tent – but it does still tend to leak in around the bottom a bit), so it was no great surprise to open the door to a damp and misty Mongolian morning. Whilst we were packing up and sorting stuff out…

The Eagle and the Lamb

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Ger camp near Olgiy

We weren’t all that sure what to expect. Jeff just told us some transport would arrive for us around 11.00 and we would be away for around half a day, involving some horse riding, a traditional Mongolian meal and a visit to an eagle-hunter (that’s someone who hunts with eagles, not a hunter of eagles –…

We’re in!

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So we all lapsed back into RWM (Roadside Waite Mode). We dozed, read, listened to music or chatted with fellow travellers, waiting for the border to open at 09.00.

Waiting at the border

At 08.50 the border personnel started arriving, mostly walking from the barracks a few hundred yards down the road – you must have done something really bad…

Waiting at the border….

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….bollocks!
There was nothing for it but to wait until the border opened on Monday. So we’d better find some food and somewhere to camp. The guards were pretty helpful and pointed us to a shop a few hundred yards down the road. We stocked up on essentials: bread, crisps, chocolate and beer – and set off to find ourselves…