Post # 119 Ulaanbaatar

Day 149 582 days to go. Distance: today 12km total 8267 km. Its 11.00pm Friday 27/4/2012 Ulaanbaatar. We have had such a great day!!!! Rube and I have a new buddy. Kangshinbai is the Korean fella I met on the road last Wednesday. He not only turned up for our lunch date today he’s staying at the guesthouse until his apartment becomes free next week. So him and I hung out together today yayayayyaa. Rube and I went out this morning to do some shopping. It was a beautiful day and nice to be out in it. We went back to the outdoor shop and bought some fine coolmax socks for my tootsies and a new cappy that has a face scarf you can pull up to protect the face from whatever elements. Unfortunately somewhere along our travels Rube’s speedometer has slipped out of its holder and we lost it bugga big. Not just that I had to buy another but it had our total km recorded. Oh well at least I got a photo of it at the 7999 as a momento and we certainly have lots of awesome memories of all those k’s. Time to start again. Kangshinbai and I went to the bike shop late this arv where I got more tubes and another speedometre fitted so we’re good to start clicking over again. Kangshinbai arrived about midday and while he got unpacked I went to the bank and got some Russian Rubel, USD and Torog for the trip ahead. We then went out to luch to a local Korean restaurant where I got treated to some traditional food and it was soooo delish. Korean food is on the right side of spicy. The main dish he ordered was pork and vegitables in a fabulous spicy sate sauce. I picked out the vegies yum. The main dish is then served up with all these complimentary cold side dishes of pickled spiced vegies, salads, tofu soup, a skewered mix of something, and omlet slices. Oh dear super yum. The conversatioon was jam packed with his cycling stories from the last ten years in Mongolia, Tibet, China and Nepal with me oooo’ing and ahhhh’ing like some school girl with a new hero šŸ™‚ He’s 49 years old and a fisherman back home. Kangshinbai’s on a cycing holiday for five months, three in Mongolia and two cycling the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. He’s got the best gear and electronics. I watched a slide show of his trip last year in Mongolia cycling Ulaanbaatar to Khovsgol Nuur. Then I watched it again much to his amusement. The photos are beautiful and I can’t wait to get amongst it. I’m definately a month early but I figure I’ll be in the best season for the Russian Altai and the Stans so it’s all good. He checked out my gear and toys including the GPS. Now I have the Mongolian map downloaded onto it so how lucky am I. Like really !!!!! Understatement 101. He also has the PDFs for a bunch of lonely planets which he’s shared. Talk about all my Christmases rolled into one very generous and clever man. His said I should try to camp where possible near gers and that the big puppies bark but don’t bite. if I come across a particulalrly persistent one apparently by the time I pick up a rock, the pooch will be long gone. All great tips!!! The GPS will be a lifesaver. I will waypoint my route from the road map, every 40kms or so and bunny hop from point to point to stay on the right road. Apparently once on dirt roads it’s particularly tricky to know which road is which and the GPS is relied on heavilly to stay on track. What a comforter and again an understatement šŸ™‚ So that’s one of my main jobs tomorrow to enter the waypoints from Ulaanbaatar to Tsagaannuur along the route I have already picked out. Even though I’m following the ‘international road’ it’s unmistakably rural once out of Ulaanbaatar. This isn’t surprising given the roads I’ve checked out and the start of open stepp plains only k’s out of town. We hung around for ages at the bikeshop talking to Nyampurev while he fitted the speedometer and adjusted the rear brake cable. It’s a cool space being amongst bike minded folk. I even got to meet Joel who popped into the shop. he’s very much the businessman and was keenly chatting to all the customers. He’s from belgium and can speak a bagful of languages. At one stage he was talking to a customer from Lebanon in Russian and I was fixated. This Lebanese fella was also very interesting in the short chat I had with him. His wife is from the Ukraine, hence the fluent Russian, and they live and work in UB. Today I got a very cool email today from a girl called Beth who’s working for an NGO with a bunch of other Australians in select Aimags acros Mongolia. She’s based in the East about 20hrs away which is a bugga because it would have been great to catch up. She’s a keen cyclist and had bought gear from the bikeshop in UB before heading out to her posting. Nyampurev had mentioned me to her and she checked out my blog and sent me an email to say hi. How cool’s that!! We’ve too’d and fro’d a few emails today and it’s been nice to have that contact. Late this evening I did a bit of have-to shopping for the trip ahead. I left Kangshinbai my head torch as he was looking for some more light to do some computer work. When I got back he had set up this amazing lighting system using two fluro USB attachments into his computer. It made my head torch look like it belonged in a museum but I love it nonetheless. So now it’s late o’clock and time for beddy byes so as to have a fresh head tomorrow for the GPS session. Did I mention how incredibly lucky I am to have met this Korean angel. I told him so just before and he said he was the lucky one šŸ™‚ Talk soon x

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About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

6 responses to “Post # 119 Ulaanbaatar”

  1. Ryan says :

    Hi Widdle
    Am soaking up the blogs after suffering big time withdrawal -yeahh!
    Reading at the beginning I was also wondering if Kangshinbai is Korean for angel!!!
    It`s spring – will they get any green???????

    • shecyclesolo says :

      Hey Kittie Apparently it’s really green here in June/July their peak time and tourist season. Hard to imagine now as it’s all very brown still from the snow fall x

  2. Gaby Gottselig says :

    Hi Maree, you are taking my arm chair travel to new heights; where did you learn to write so well? loved the answer you gave after talking to the woman in the bank in Ulaanbaatar: Cycling around the world? why? it’s all about doing it, because you can and sharing it with us, while we are tucked up in our cosy Mary Valley homes with the first cold nights and rain today, (would you believe it, all soccer matches are cancelled, so teenage soccer mad girl is unhappy). so reading about your adventures has cheered me up. sending you lots of good vibes so you stay safe and good luck for the next leg of the trip. you do meet some awesome people and that chap (Korean Angle) was right, he was lucky to have met you, as is everyone who does!
    cheers Gaby

    • shecyclesolo says :

      Hey Gaby so great to hear from you and that you are enjoying the Posts from your beautiful corner of the world. Your kind thoughts and wishes are as always very generous and caring. A huge Mongolian cuddle and thank you from me to you x

  3. janet says :

    The squat can continue! Apparently this is what the locals do in their travels……all you need is a large tin, and large stones, that are heated to glow in the dark. Pop them into the tin, turn the tin over and there you have it, a warm bot to let you squat in comfort on your way North! That incredible tit bit is from “Mongolia – Travel Know How” by Fred Forkert & Barbara Stelling…a great read!

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