Day 151 580 days to go. Distance: today/yesterday 0km total 8267 km. Its 12.20pm Sunday 29/4/2012 Ulaanbaatar. I’ve just checked the weather report for UB from today to Thursday 3/5/12 when I head off singing ‘into the wild blue yonder rain or snow zippitty-ay’. This is a song my Dad sings and very appropriate for Mongolia don’t you think Poppy 🙂 Today 13 degrees then 14, 19, 23, 26, 27 (Fri). Can you believe it? On Friday that will be a temperature difference of 40 degrees in the last week crazy stuff!! I more more happy now knowing I have better gear to swing with mother nature’s good and bad days in between seasons. God bless her mittens and bikinis. And all in the one day if she so chooses 🙂 I do have the best news!!! Kangshinbai asked yesterday if he could cycle with me for the first 5 days then he will turn back to UB. How bloody good is this? ‘That would be great my friend!!’ He has checked out and moved to his apartment this morning and has also invited me to stay with him from tomorrow to when we head on Thursday. This is as long as it’s ok with his female friend here in UB which he’s checking today. Hopefully it’ll be all good but we’ll see. It was a genuine offer to share some adventure and regardless I’ll head on Thursday. I am as best prepared as I can be in the circumstances with my GPS route coordinates and PDF Lonely Planets and warm gear and tires sorted and new speedometer and washed clean tent, and Kazakh visa, and mongolian visa registration/extension, and Rubels/USD/Torog and an Australian and Mongolia flag for Rube and and and and……. No wonder my head was spinning when I first arrived. That’s when it wasn’t frozen. Holy Mr Freeze Batman……. 🙂 Kangshaibai helped me with the tires. As it turns out I was fully inflating the tubes without centering them properly. This was forcing the valve up the rim socket on an angle. With the right pressure at the wrong angle the rim was slicing the valve at it’s base. So now Ive had a ‘changing tyre’ lesson 101 and all sorted big yay. Thank you Scotty and Marcus for your tips. As it turns out it wasn’t a complex issue but the tube and me that needed re alignment 🙂 xx I head off now to do the last bit of shopping including an Aussie and Mongolian flag. Kangshaibai told me about a souvenir shop nearby that sells all flags from around the world. He has a Korean one he flies off his trailer. Mum has sewn me and Rube a flag to record where we cycle as we go. So between this and the other I should be able to put something cool together to hang off my girl. Rube’s very excited. Anything for attention I think. When our adventure is done I know she has a future on the stage 🙂 Yesterday was a full logistics day which included unpacking and checking the tent that all was in order. OMG thank goodness I did. You may recall the last time we tented was in Vietnam over 2 1/2 months ago. Apparently it was wet the morning we packed up and that bit of info fell out of my head on the way out of the National Park. So after recovering from my dry reach, I jumped into the shower with the tent and washed his moldy bits to a state less eeeek. He got hung out in the afternoon air and sun and warmed in front of the central heating in the evening. Last night he flashed me a huge grin knowing how spunky he smells. Double yay I say. The tent’s our home for the next weeks so it’s nice to have it looking every bit a cool pace to nest and visit. We’ve got jobs us Aussie ambassadors so got to look the part 🙂 We can’t have folk running off into the Gobi to escape our Mouldy pong. That won’t do at all 🙂 I had the most beautiful skype with my folks this morning. I introduced Kangshaibai to them. He had my ear phones on but I could see Mum was wishing him well and thanking him in details for helping their baby. Unfortunately he didn’t understand a word but knew they meant well. I do the same forgetting in his good company that his English does not include colorful Australian. Our conversations are slow and deliberate with drawings and translators and acting out. He laughs at me and enjoys these butterfly moments. I apologize and we pick up where I left 🙂 I cracked up this morning as I caught us both humming the tune played by the rubbish truck man. It’s much like Mr Whippy and the ice cream van back home. They cruse the streets playing their tune to let folks know they’re about. In this case it lets people know to bring out their rubbish for him to collect. He said they also have these singing rubbish trucks in Korea. I’m picturing our mucho garbo’s back home and don’t think they quite fit the idea. It may not accessorize well with their blue singlet and stubby persona. It’s after 2pm and time now to get into my list for the day. I’m happy with an edge of anx taken off given my list of to-do’s are nearly done. With the help from by buddy Rube and I can hear the Mongolian steppe beckoning. I haven’t given you my itinerary as yet so I’ll include it below. I also got an email from home that our pooches have had a camping holiday with friends. They had their own tent and lots of swims and treats finished with a hyrdo bath on the way home. Pretty soon it’ll be Mummy Who? Just joking!!! I love the photos my partner forwarded on, so I have included them in the post. Do you think they had fun? It’s the best comfort knowing they’re safe and well and being cared for and spoilt and into all sorts of naughtiness given every opportunity. How wretchedly perfect! I also want to send a special thank you for your comments and email contact and to let you know just how much they mean to me. It is so NOT shecyclesolo but shecyclesupported. So from the tip of my my toasty toes …… I send as many thank you’s as there are kind folk in this world.. By the way that’s a fair few and then some as I’m discovering !!! Talk soon x
Timeframe: 30 days
Total 1853km Ave 62km @ day
Alternative travel options exist by van, jeep or trucks. Using the GPS I will enter the coordinates every 25km or as needed at intersecting roads etc. We will then bunny hop between coordinates keeping to the route. Once the roads become unpaved road finding is tricky and the GPS is a very useful bit of kit to stay on track.
Stage 1 – Ulaanbaatar to Tsetserleg (485km)
Road: International road AH32 (state roads A0301, AO601, A0602)
Route: Ulaanbaatar, Lun (135km) , Erdenesant (83km), Rashant (43km), Harhorin (105km), Holton (35km), Tsenher (59km), kTsetserleg (25km)
Stage 2 – Tsetserleg to Uliastay (546km)
Road: International road AH32 (state roads A0603, A1102)
Route: Tsetserleg, Intamir (26km), Tariat (135km), Tsahir (62km), In Uul (94km), Tosontsengel (43km), Telmen (61km), Uliastay (124km).
Stage 3 – Uliastay to Hovd (503km).
Road International road AH32 (state roads A28, A1701)
Route: Uliastay, Dorgan (455km), Myangati, Buyant to Hovd (48km).
Note: This section is mapped in part as sandune desert and sparsley populated. The next town mapped from Uliastay is Dorgon.
Stage 4 – Hovd to Tsagaannuur (319km)
Road: International road AH4 (State roads AO305, AO306, A16)
Route: Hovd, Tolbo (152km), Olgiy (70km), Tsagaannuur (68km), Border (29km)