From A Busy City To A Lonely Steppe

It took me an hour to get out of the busy city of Ulaanbaatar. Racing against the buses on the side lane was tricky. They drove the bus as in theyre riding a horse. It got quite dangerous most of the time. I found myself racing against the same bus since it was a bit faster than me but had to stop every few hundred meters to drop and pickup passengers.

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A Korean instant noodle for lunch

A Korean instant noodle for lunch

After about an hour riding through the city, I saw less cars. No more traffic lights, no more shoulders and zebra crossings. Only one straight lonely road heading west towards the sunset. I felt much safer. No more honking and stress. I was finally out of Ulaanbaatar, the capital and biggest city of Mongolia.

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I kept riding, taking a deep breath to smell the countryside of Mongolia and my eyes wide open… eager to see and explore the real Mongolia. It is still quite cold for middle of March, somewhere around 5c at daytime but my body is warmed due to cycling, which makes it very pleasant. I saw mostly lorries and trucks passed by me. I really feel like Im back riding in Northwest China especially in the Gansu Province.

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I rode roughly around 80km on my first day, putting me somewhere in the steppe, in the middle of nowhere. I felt so tired since it was my first day of long distance cycling after nearly a year where I rode from Steinkjer to Trondheim in Norway. I then pitched my tent where I see horses, hoping that the horses will come near me and become my friends… but they went away. Im a lousy traveler, when I was about to pitch my tent, I realized that I have lost the tent pegs. So I had to use my scissors and knives as a replacement. Luckily my tent is a freestanding one. Would be a disaster if I brought my Swedish tent instead.

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The night was cold, the temperature dropped around -12c at night and I was shivering since I took my lousy 0c sleeping bag with me. I thought carrying my badass -30c Mammut sleeping bag that I used in the Arctic was a bad idea since its heavy and bulky, but now I missed it. I slept under million of stars that night but it didn’t last long. I felt too cold and woke up as early as 4am… shivering. I couldn’t sleep since then, the sleeping bag is too thin. I really carried a wrong gear!

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give me the power!! baby...

give me the power!! baby…

I only went out from my tent when the sunlight was out… warming the earth. The temperature rised steadily every minutes and it was finally pleasant. I celebrated it with a good breakfast. I took my time, charging all my electronic equipments with my Goalzero solar panel since the sun was shining proudly and did some video editing from inside my tent. After a while, I then packed all my stuffs and rode another 35km to Hustai. At one point, I was really struggling, the paved road ended and I had to pushed my fully loaded bike crossing the sand dunes… the last 13km to get myself to Hustai. Only at the hard packed earth I could cycle, but when the sand is soft and going uphill, it was like crossing into hell.

the place that I stayed in Hustai

the place that I stayed in Hustai

I stayed a day in Hustai, looking forward to see some Takhi (Mongolian wild horses). But didn’t spot any. The area is too vast… all I saw was normal Mongolian horses, cows and sheep. The locals said that I came at the wrong time, I should be here during summer… like any other tourists. All I can do is smile back. I don’t consider myself as a tourist, Im a nomad, and Im just passing through this land, just like all of us passing through this life.

nope... no Takhi here...

nope… no Takhi here…

only normal Mongolian horses

only normal Mongolian horses

...and some delicious dinner mmm...

…and some delicious dinner mmm…

Mongolian horsemen!

Mongolian horsemen!

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sexy mamacota...

sexy mamacota…

13 Comments on “From A Busy City To A Lonely Steppe

  1. Crossing the sand dune by foot is already quite a task, doing it with your bike + 40kg is a nightmare indeed. Check out the endless blue sky, kinda reminded me of cowboy era from your pictures too. Glad the cold weather makes you more determined to travel (obviously)

  2. Ha..bestnye menikmati bau udara Mongolia dgn berbasikal. Betol2 menikmati.

  3. What I would give to hv the freedom to chase my dreams and explore God’s earth like u. Tk care zahariz, live well … rgds, aunty ♡

  4. yay happy for u broda.. living ur dreams.. tc stay safe and enjoy every bit of it.. :D

  5. all the scenery r so nice, and the horses r lovely.. makes me wanna ride one of it!

    safe journey n take care

  6. Love the pictures you took. Amazing scenery. Wish I have your courage to do the same. Stay safe and can’t wait to hear more of your adventure. Take care.Cheers!

  7. I don’t see any highway so how does the cycling path looks like..i can’t imagine !

  8. Thx all for the kind comments.
    Hasni Abu Bakar – No highway here… the main road is the paved one… something like the one in North China. But sometimes it turns into gravels and sand… but with a clear track…

  9. Looks like a new tent u hv there? Apa yg ko jemur atas rumput next to the solar charger? Is it the solar panel? Berat tak? (U know size & weight matters a lot to me…hihihi). How much and where to get one?

    • kak nita – tak la tu tent lama… yg pakai masa kat scotland dulu. yeah tu la the solar panel goal zero tu… sherpa 50. quite ringan and very good. 2 panel tu dah cukup dah. elemek… naik motor… weight matters? saya kayuh kak… tadahal bawak semua tu. hehe…

  10. LOL…what I mean is not for the sake of kayuh or pulas throttle, but reason why I must keep the weight low is due to when I need to make a wet crossing or ride on loose gravels. The lighter, the easier to handle. Basikal boleh angkat…motor mana boleh angkat :)
    Tadi Hadi helped bring my bike to park up on a divider. Dia bising sangat sbb the bike is heavy (I brought along camping gears sbb baru lepas camping ari tu). Dia tak tau during my Central Asia ride, the bike was double heavier than it is today…HAHAHA…

    • ohh hahaha icic. yeah barang2 camping usually quite berat.. coz bila camp.. kene masak sendiri etc.. so byk barang involved..

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