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To Mongolia!!


To Mongolia!!

I was so excited that today was the day I go to Mongolia!!!  I have been dreaming of visiting Mongolia so many years since I used to watch the Travel Channel in America.  It took some decision making to make this little side journey, because I was warned that I am too late in the season to visit this area due to the cold high elevations.  I nearly didn’t go, but there was no way I couldn’t pass it up while I am in this part of the world!!  And now, today is the day…!!

I take off early in the morning, and not far down the road, I spotted it… couldn’t believe it.. snow capped mountains… I pulled right over to take a photo.. somewhat excited and somewhat scared.

After I got over my wowee moments, I motored on.

Only 150 km to the border.  Easy peasy, I had a plan.. and knew where to stop for my last bit of decent fuel, kindly texted over by Walter the day before advising me to fill up both my fuel tanks to the max!!  Oooooo, okay, now I’m getting nervous.

I made it to the border at 11 am.  Hmmm, seems a bit quiet around here.  There are a few buildings with markings in regards to immigration and customs, I knocked on every single door.  Nothing…

Maybe they are all taking an early lunch?  The odd towns person walks past.. I try to ask, but we are beyond making sense to each other.
One man finally points to his watch and motions the sleeping look.  Okay, sleeping means to me they must be taking a break.
I pull out my lunch I had grabbed early this morning at the magazine and decide to eat and wait.. I finally work out that this is Sunday, and they must be closed.  Always the case while I am traveling, the day of the week is quite often a mystery to me, until I bother to check!  
I finally give up, and ask at the magazine for a gostinitsa.. Niyet.  Hmm, it’s 50 km back to the next town, I didn’t really want to go back that far and repeat it again tomorrow.  
Just as I was pulling away from town, I thought I might stop and ask one last group of people.  They all looked at each other and said niyet as well, but one man piped up and had me follow him on his motorcycle.  Now this is most familiar!
He takes me to another man who has a little wooden yurt in his back yard.  He offers it to me for 150 rubles.  ($4.88 USD!!)  Sold!

It is however, only 1:30 in the afternoon, and I decide not to call it a day, why not explore the area a bit? It’s so pretty around here, and such a unique landscape.

So this is what it looks like around the Russian/Mongolia border.. I really enjoyed exploring.

Back to my to wonderful accommodation, I pull in with my bike.

I find that he’s cleaned up the place a bit, making a fire inside the oven/heater and put water on top to boil for my chai (tea).  I watched him.. he used 3 sources for the fire.. on the bottom is wood, then in the middle are dried cow patties, and on top he is pouring coal. Ancient Mongolian fire recipe?

No food or cafe this time,  no worries!  I walk down to the magazine and opt for the ramen noodle dinner.  That’s okay, I have been doing so well, I’m about due for one of those.  And then my yurt man with the golden teeth knocks on the door and shows me to the banya (Russian sauna)  What??  Yay!!!!

After a good sweat and a clean, I lay out my sleeping bag on the bed and enjoy a peaceful quiet sleep.

Such a good find and a great place to stay..

Not sure what time the border opens (was told either 8 or 9) I am up early and ready to go!

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Originally from America. Proud citizen of Australia. Currently riding my motorcycle around the world. 44 countries so far and counting. ;-)

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