A Wet Day!
Trip Start May 08, 2009
31Trip End Aug 2009
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A memorable couple of day's to date on our adventure of a lifetime was when we left Bayanhongor and started out riding into the mountains and the weather was pretty grim. We decided to have a rest day and stay in the town. Jarvo and Baz stayed in a hotel and the rest of the group went and stayed a second night on an island in the river nearby. This was the island where Baz dropped his bike and filled a pannier with water, Jarvo decided to try a crossing a little further up and attacked it with gusto and inevitably ended up in the drink. Tim and Pete rode across with no problems at all!
The following day the weather was in our favour and we set off into the mountains. Dennis our Oz companion was a little way behind us and as a result of this after we had travelled through a small hamlet waking the local policeman that he had time to put his boots on and get outside his Ger and stop Dennis.
The day just got better by the minute. The scenery was just out of this world and then the river crossings started! Tim took point and managed to cross each river safely setting out the stool for the rest to follow. Baz thought he would go through a shallow part of one river and went over an area that had not been crossed. This resulted ion Baz dropping his bike and Tim who had dry feet at this point wade out to give him a hand and get wet feet in the process.
After about 5 more crossings we attempted one and saw a car drive down the river. Suddenly the car came to a halt and Rick International Bling Rescue came to their aid. 10 mins later and the car was winched out of the river to a grateful Mongolian family!
We continued to climb and cross river after river until we reached the top of the pass and we decided to descend. Just prior to that we saw a family dismantling their Ger and we stopped and spoke to them. Their choice of camp site was amazing and they were happy to pass 5 mins or so while cigarettes were smoked.
We then approached the river crossing where Pete decided to stop dead in the river and drop his bike. This river crossing lasted only 4 seconds for Pete and I think it is only fair he explains what happened...
Well, what happened was... I approached using my normal tactics, roll into the river in a controlled and considered fashion, and using copious hand fulls of gs power, gradually get more and more out of control but hopefully reaching the opposite bank before any thing too untoward happens. However, on this occasion I got more offline than I intended and ran into a particular large boulder which hit the header pipe - sorry about the dent Rick - and stopped me dead. The river war deep at this point, and in falling to the left I get a wet glove, arm, waist and legs, and 2 boots full. Everyone leaped in and tried to help but the bike wouldn't start and even together we could not move the bloody thing. Eventually International Bling Rescue arrived and Rick threw us the line from his winch. With all of us controlling the bike we eventually got to the other bank. I was extremely glad, grateful and wet. Thankfully, the engine hadn't hydraulic ed and eventually it started.
Rick Dennis and I decide to camp at this point whist the others pressed on with the hope of a hot shower, food and a real bed.
We were high up but in a beautiful wooded area next to the, now much respected and loathed river. A fire was soon lit, we dined and Rick broke out a bottle of malt!
Next morning we awoke to snow and a freezing wind..Yuk! A local man approached on his horse, dismounted and relight our fire. He squatted by the fire as we all warmed ourselves before leaving as quietly as he approached.
The day was spent keeping the fire going just to stay warm.
Rick saw two local lads stripped to the waist trying to spear fish with what appeared to be a trident spear about 20 feet long...it must have been freezing.
We watched helpless as other local vehicles became stranded in the river for a while but through perseverance and ingenuity they all got out.
Once again the people of Mongolia gained our utmost respect, their manner, generosity and open friendliness left a lasting memory with us all.