- City: Kanpur
The next day we started from Khorgo the extinct volcano, about 7 km after the white lake. A couple of 100 metres out of the camp we had to cross our first stream of the day. Fortunately it was the only stream of the day!
Post that we climbed towards the volcano where we crossed towards the other side where the town of Tariat lay. There was a field of lava rocks which was quite a sight. There we resupplied and rode towards Tsetserleg. 10 km beyond Tariat we got tarmac and from then the going was good, even though there were a few climbs, it was mostly downhill which made life easy for us.
After having ridden in the dirt for so many days, tarmac was a breeze. And after a few kilometres extremely boring as well!
30km beyond Tariat we passed a ravine on our side, the rugged beauty of the place was fantastic. To be honest I didn’t have the courage to go to the edge to look down. We moved on from there and stopped en route to have lunch where we were served massive food portions. We downed it and immediately felt drowsy after copious quantities of rice.
We met a couple of French cyclists who were riding from China and Mongolia, there were carrying a lot more luggage than us.
We continued towards Tsetserleg, but since the distance was a good 170km from our starting point, it was impossible that we could cover that distance in a day, so we rode till nightfall before pitching our tents a couple of hundred metres from the highway. We had covered 120km for the day with only having climbed the one pass.
The Lava Rock field in front of us
The best picture i have probably clicked in my life! Please say nice things about it, even if you don’t mean it
Our campsite for the night
The sky at 11 PM!
The next morning we rode from our campsite which was about 50km before Tsetserleg to Tsetserleg which was our destination for the day and also where we planned to stop riding and get transportation to UB. Effectively ending the cycle torture fest for us
We left our campsite at about 9AM. The intitial few kilometres was all tarmac, but as we approached the pass it turned to dust. The pass wouldn’t have been much trouble to climb on tarmac, but the presence of sand and rock slowed things down considerably. This didn’t make a lot of sense as the other side was tarred as well, with only the pass being left to fend for itself!
With about 14km to go to Tsetserleg we were happy that we were making good time and expected to reach our destination within the next hour. But our happiness came to a sudden end along with the tarmac!
The road gave way to a trail accompanied with a steep climb to the top of a pass just before the city. We struggled up, pushing our bikes for the majority of the way. With many vehicles passing us kicking up dust and dirt, it was absolutely no fun.
When the wind blew we struggled to ride, when it didn’t flies would stick to our sweat drenched clothes and there was naught that we could do to get rid of those infernal creatures.
The 5km to the top took us an hour and even from the top we couldn’t see the town. We descended down the sandy trail and suddenly hidden behind the corner was the entirety of the town. It was pretty big by Mongolian standards but positioned in such a manner that it cannot be seen till you are bang above it. Finding a hotel there was quite difficult and finally we found a hotel which was rather expensive.
After exploring the city and getting some grub it was time to hit the sack. But the Mongols had different ideas, the town square bang in front of our hotel room was lit up for a music concert and we were treated to live music with disco lights penetrating our room windows, ensuring that we stayed up and partied even in our dreams! It was a perfect way to end the cycling, hearing western music from the 80s being sung with a Mongolian accent
…. Or Maybe not…
A host of Epilogues coming up after this 😀
Birds of a feather flock together…or maybe not!
The last picture of the trip!