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Old 04-12-2014, 01:09 AM   #1
Thirsty Horse OP
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Mongolia & Hong Kong
Oddometer: 10
Mongolia - Gobi - Altai - Eagle Festival

Hi,

I've had this idea in my head for years for a really epic trek in Mongolia, and this is the first feeler for interested parties.

The timing is from 20th September 2014 to mid October.

The planned route is this: Fly in to Ulaan Baatar and spend a couple of days partying with the locals and getting really friendly with the local beer. Then head due south across the high plains of the Mongolian Plateau and through the painted desserts and rock formations along the way. Stop at the Flaming Cliffs and visit the dinosaur fossils and visit the tourist sights of the Gobi from Dalantzhadgad. So far I've done before.

From Dalantzhad head due west between the twin ranges of the Gobi Altai Mountains, cross the last of the dunes - and then just keep going from oasis to oasis, sacred rock to sacred rock, for the next few hundred kms across the most remote area of the Gobi.

That done, the rise of the Altai Mountains western range comes into sight as the journey approaches the final third. Cross the mountain pass to the town of Altai itself, and follow the range up to Hovd, visiting the world famous pre-historic cave dwellings along the way. Big party in Hovd, as this will be a return visit for me, and then on to Olgii just in time for the Eagle hunting festival: Big Kazakh guys on big camels with big eagles chasing poor little rabbits. Fabulous spectacle, although admittedly tough on the rabbits, and it sure makes for a great climax to the adventure. Then fly back to UB, and the whole thing is planned for 18 days. That said, if anybody on the trip wanted to complete the journey back to UB by bike that would be no problem, because the locals have got to bring the stuff back anyway. Just personally I'd have trouble taking an entire month off work.

But anyway: I am in the process of assembling the machinery, which will be DR650s and Russian jeeps for 4 x 4 support. The DRs will be properly modified, which will be engine mods, suspension and a comfortable seat. Bigger tanks - maybe, but no panniers. The gear (and the spare petrol) goes in the jeeps. I want the bikes light and unencumbered so that we can ride trails and dunes with élan. This is not going to be an exercise in carrying luggage.

So I'm thinking 5 bikes - 7 at max, and 3 jeeps, would make for a group of 10 max plus a couple of local guys brings it to 12, but I'd be happy with just another 4 people to make 4 + me + 2 locals = 7 as a minimum; together with 3 jeeps. (2 jeeps is a minimum safety requirement for a trip of this nature.)

Accommodation would be a mix of hotels, ger camps, and pure under the stars desert camping with tents.

This is a very remote route and will be a very tough trip - please be warned. But male or female is not the issue. Whether my wife comes or not, remains to be seen.

As I'm arranging this with www.thitsty-horse.com , the details of the trek are already on their website.

If anyone is interested please contact me.
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