• City: Kanpur

    We were scheduled to leave from Bulgan early morning. But with a horrible previous day for me an early morning start didn’t happen.

    We started the day with me doubting whether I was capable of riding. But after the initial few kilometres my legs came back to me. I felt much stronger without the fever and I could pedal with all the power in my legs. The roads were better, in a sense that there were no steep climbs! Just lovely rolling terrain. The roads would just go up and down without us having to put in too much effort.

    We covered the distance easily. We carried sufficient water unlike the previous day and didn’t have to worry about how much did we have to drink. We could consume as much as we wanted because we had 5 litres to spare in our panniers. We rode till a place called Uran Togo.

    UT is the first place where we found a Ger Camp to stay. We rode into the camp, knowing that we had to stay the night there irrespective of how expensive it was. Since we were not in a condition to continue. Continuing meant we would have had to ride an extra 30 km and we were in no condition to cover that distance. As we rode into the camp we asked the first person we met about a room and they didn’t answer. Since most people do not speak English. Then one little girl jumped onto a cycle and pedalled away furiously and two minutes later another girl returned on the same cycle. She knew a little English and thus was the point person in the camp, even though she was quite young. We bargained from 60000 tugrik to 30000 tugrik, the Mongolian currency. Our weapons for bargaining was that we were cyclists with no money and thus we should be given a discount and it worked! We got a nice little Mongolian tent which was cosy and the campsite was in a valley surrounded by mountains on all sides with the cool breeze blowing.

    The campsite also had a basketball and volleyball court. And Prakash joined in for both the games. He played a round of basketball with some local youngsters and got in an extra spot of exercise. Why did he want to exercise after having ridden the entire day beats me! We did get real good food there though. And they went out of they way to prepare good vegetarian food for Prakash. Most places they would throw together whatever they could in the name of vegetarianism, but these people took an extra effort to make delicious food. I was overjoyed to see potatoes on my plate! After dinner we enjoyed the sun setting into the mountains.

    That day also made me realize the importance of getting out my raincoat and wearing it in time. Because in Mongolia the rain comes and goes in a blink of an eye leaving you soaking by the time you have got your raincoat in hand. We got a 10 minute shower and I got soaked, you can outrun a storm on a motorcycle but not on a bicycle!

    We also had a rather amusing incident where Prakash was trailing me by about half a kilometre, and a couple of 14 year olds on horseback rode up to him and threatened to slit his throat while flashing a big machete and then proceeded to rob him! Fortunately they only managed to get a couple of bars of snickers and an LED torch! Since these highway robbers were adolescents it made the entire incident rather amusing, at least for me 😀 . Probably for Prakash it was still rather unnerving!

    Discussing how to tackle the headwind!

    Blessed with a rainbow

    The camp cottages


    Coca Cola is everywhere!

    A milestone or kilometre pole!

    The ‘Ger’ where we stayed

    Prakash playing Volleyball with the girl who ran the place!