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Old 01-12-2013, 09:37 AM   #2521
ROD CURRIE
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Karakorum

We rode on through the day and from a distance as we approached a town, started to see something of architectural interest. Terry had seen it before but to Prutster, Beamster and myself it was very impressive indeed.
We pulled off the main highway and down the long approach road to this beautiful monastery-type fort-type enclosure.
As you can see the day was still overcast but we felt we'd beaten the worst of it.



This is I think Karakorum....not Genghis Khan's fabled city but a religious edifice. W will I'm sure hop in and tell us a little more about it. Outside were locals in traditional Mongolian dress and as I remember I think there was a young couple getting blessed.



We didn't go inside as (only speaking personally) although I love the architecture of these places, religion of any variant frankly leaves me cold.

I don't of course mind anyone else having a faith, have dear friend who's a vicar and my wife is a believer-it just isn't for me.
The guys I think felt they got enough out of looking at the architecture and after a while we moved off.

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Old 01-12-2013, 09:42 AM   #2522
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Mmmm, i,m getting real excited about the next phase .... but hold on we haven,t finished with this part of the trip yet. !!!!
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #2523
ROD CURRIE
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Sandpit

We left Karakorum and hadn't ridden too far when we passed lots of vehicles at the roadside and people milling about.
There was what I can only call a desert theme park with camel rides, big sand dunes and tons of people picnicking and doing what daytrippers do anywhere

These are Bactrian camels (with 2 humps) and they're much smaller and I believe much more amenable than the single-hump Dromedaries you'd associate with Arabia and North Africa



The camels were quite unfazed by the bikes and came right past so close I could stroke their flanks. Bas was dead keen to dive into the dunes for some moto-playtime and he went in.





For myself I've ridden quite a lot in the North Africa desert, and I had kinda itchy feet and wanted to see more of this land-the guys would for sure catch me up later in the day, so I left and rode on alone and dialed it back further still to just groove along at 50mph and "smell the flowers"

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:29 AM   #2524
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When you're on the dirt, for a tithead like me it's pretty absorbing......... looking at the surface constantly, reading the line, scanning ahead and you're somewhat externalised. On the slab I find I internalise much more and I spent much of the day ruminating over the many experiences of the past weeks. The bud of an idea began to form.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:48 AM   #2525
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Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
This is I think Karakorum....not Genghis Khan's fabled city but a religious edifice. W will I'm sure hop in and tell us a little more about it.
Youre right on there Rod.

This is Erdene Zuu buddhist monastery. Built about 350 years after Genghis Khan's time.

Karakorum itself didnt really exist in Genghis's time. It was just a few yurts in his day. The fabled city was built after Genghis Khan's time ... by his son, Ogedei, who made it HIS capital. It was never Genghis Khan's capital. Thats just a tourist myth. Genghis lived a couple hundred kms east of UB, Karakorum is a couple hundred kms west of UB - its a different 'hood altogether.

Genghis never had a city or even a palace. He lived in ger tents his whole life and despised cities, and the people who lived in them. He didn't think it was manly. He thought people who lived in cities (or fixed buildings) were lazy and weak, and were not warriors.

The G-Man ...

.

Funny street level history of Genghis here .... http://www.cracked.com/funny-5083-ghengis-khan/
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:40 AM   #2526
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Day 63 Road to UB

These were nothing like the dunes we have been riding in Marocco. Beamster and me had never taken these bikes bikes into the dunes yet.
We asked the guys if they were ok with a 15 min break so we could fool around.

This local herd gathered round my metal camel when I parked it in its natural environment.





When we were done playing we drove back to Tee Bee. Rod was already on its way.
The three of us cruised towards the capital. Just before we would enter the cities rush hour we took the time to let our wet tents dry in the sun, so they wouldn't grow mushrooms leaving them packed in our hotel room.

The traffic in UB was one big mess and they use their car to push your bike aside if that helps them to get 10 cm further in the line. ( so if you are ever there in a traffic jam put both feet on the ground and expect a push from time to time)



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Old 01-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #2527
ROD CURRIE
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Later

The day was now warm, no-hot and I rode slowly on up the country, expecting the guys to appear in my mirrors any time. I didn't realise they'd taken an opportunity to stop and dry their tents-maybe i should've done too but I was just too happy to stop.
The skies blue, vistas were opening up and Mongolia at last smiled on us again.

Forgive the socks. ..you dry them where you can and a washed pair of socks can dry in an hour in a warm wind. Then swap for the next wet pair you've washed out.



Hour after hour the road rolled towards me. When it's right, it's so right. A good bike at last that I've now total confidence in, the sun in my face, a landscape like this to ride through. Good karma.
Traffic building up I see .






The road could still catch you out, you'd breast a rise to find a rim-bending pothole right in front of you, or a ripple a foot high right across the road so you have to keep aware.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:17 PM   #2528
ROD CURRIE
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Shrine

I stopped at this little shrine on the roadside, as ever festooned with blue cloth.



There always seemed to be a surfeit of empty vodka bottles in the direct vicinity of the shrine...maybe they toast the deity? I dunno but the Mongols certainly enjoy a dram!
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #2529
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Ub

You come out of the empty country and empty road down to the junction to the road north towards Ulan Ude and BAM! -you're in Ulaan Baatar.
The traffic is as Bas says, appalling-nose to tail for miles once you're in the city "proper" and on the bike you have NO standing. There seems to be NO rules ...They'll just run you off the road or under a truck.

There's endless new construction under way and as you head into the city the very road you're on is being widened and is choked with construction trucks kicking dust up.
Stray dogs by the dozen live in this hell and run along and across the road as gaps appear. The bodies of the unlucky lie where they were felled or are bounced off the road.
I hated this entry into the town. This wasn't at all what I'd perhaps naively envisaged. I headed off the road towards the south of the city.



I'd located a hostel on the GPS that might be a fit for us all and made for it. When I got close the GPS guided me into a flyblown shanty town where I was viewed in a somewhat hostile manner by youths loafing about on the edges. Wow..what a change.

I got to the hostel it had closed-I wasn't unhappy as it was shithole-so I headed into the city centre again as I'd received a text from the guys to tell me where they were.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:44 PM   #2530
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450rr

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UB is the only place in the world I have seen a 450RR in the flesh. That's a 30K dirtbike.
I think it likely that there isn't such a thing as a 30K dirt bike???? More likely that there is someone who would (and could) pay that much for a dirt bike. But what do I know----I live a sheltered live down here in beautiful downtown Utah?
Still----we do have some pretty country to ride here but not the freedom to do so like I see exists in Mongolia ---I guess they don't yet have BLM and other governmental restrictions on access to their very beautiful country.

I am enjoying this RR so very much---waiting out the sub freezing weather that we've had here for the last month or so.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:07 PM   #2531
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I think it likely that there isn't such a thing as a 30K dirt bike???? More likely that there is someone who would (and could) pay that much for a dirt bike. But what do I know----I live a sheltered live down here in beautiful downtown Utah?
Oh they exist all right ... and they cant make enough of them to meet demand. 25,000 EUR, plus tax = 30,000 EUR in Europe. That means they gotta be 40,000 bux or so in the states from your local KTM dealer.

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Old 01-12-2013, 01:33 PM   #2532
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Oh they exist all right ... and they cant make enough of them to meet demand. 25,000 EUR, plus tax = 30,000 EUR in Europe. That means they gotta be 40,000 bux or so in the states from your local KTM dealer.

Thats one hell of a nice bike to look at !! Wish i saved more money Spend 6500 euros on my V-Strom that cant hardly ride off-road
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:08 PM   #2533
Prutser
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City tour

After I texted Rod where we were, Tee Bee went into a building that should have a guest house inside.
The building was under construction and there were no signs of a guest house.
Rod was now on its way to meet us, than we could start to search for another hotel.
We all followed Tee Bee (our dear tour guide) who had been here before, as he took us on a cross town ADV ride



One of the last pics I took in Mongolia was this one: Beamster next to the main square in U.B.

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Old 01-12-2013, 02:35 PM   #2534
Dahveed
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Originally Posted by ROD CURRIE View Post
beats looking at bongo pics

Are we making fun of this photo now?

You can tell its a KTM cause they needed to use a rock on the sidestand to keep it from toppling over. I'm wondering if they're parked there waiting for a UPS truck with a new fuel pump?

Epic ride guys and girl!
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:49 PM   #2535
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Money?

Well, I just spent a lot of time to get caught up on this RR. Its been great so far.

One question I didn't see yet ask is about budget. What is a reasonable budget for riding here? Not equipment or gear, but on-the-ground costs like fuel, food, lodging, border crossings, etc.

Thanks in advance and thanks for taking the time to document this journey.
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