Slow & Gentle Ride to Tsetserleg
Cycling in Mongolia is easy to do if you start from the west heading all the way to Ulaanbaatar. The wind will push you… making you fly with over 120km a day without a sweat. But not the other way round… It took me 2 days just to cover 120km from Karakorum to Tsetserleg. I started quite late in Karakorum, I started to cycle at around 11.45am… slowed down by the good food in Karakorum.
It was a good ride, not much climbing at about 2000m altitude and the wind was blowing against me as usual, but gentle. Took a quick break in a small village in Khotont before continuing my ride through the vast steppe. The sky was so blue… and under it was an endless grassland, which provide enough grass for the countless livestock that I saw along my way… and some horsemen. I cruised really slowly for some 70km… ended up in some beautiful spot to camp. Here in Mongolia, almost all the land is open free without any fence, which makes it so easy to camp… almost anywhere. I became a bit choosy when it come to find a place to pitch my tent… making sure that I’m a bit far away from livestocks and gers, so that the dogs wont come and disturb me with their barkings at night. But its good sometimes when I see horses or sheep nearby, so I know that I’m safe. I never been in any case of wolf attack… yea wolves don’t attack humans… but who knows if unlucky, when they come in pack and theyre dead hungry. But at least they will surely choose the easier target, those horses or sheep… instead of me.
The difference of the temperature here in Mongolia is so huge now in spring. At daytime it was a nice warm 10 celcius. But when the sun is down, it started to freeze slowly. As usual after pitching my tent, cooked dinner, watched the sunset and do some video editing from my laptop, I went to sleep early at around 9. And there you go, I woke up as early as 3am since it was too cold! The temperature dropped to -8 celcius and my sleeping bag which is as thin as a toilet paper was totally useless. I was freezing like an ice cream especially my feet. I then wrapped my body with whatever clothes that I have but couldn’t sleep still… I was really awake and feeling fresh! I then tried to boil hot water to drink some hot chocolate and oats but… all my water became hard pack ice. Theres nothing I can do but get back inside my useless sleeping bag and tried to sleep… which I finally did only at around 6am. I then continued to sleep until around 9am… waiting for the ice to melt a bit so that I can break it into pieces with my knife and finally can have a good hot chocolate and oats for breakfast.
I then just stayed for a couple of hours enjoying the sun… really really enjoying the heat that the sun gave me… doing some work from my laptop and charging all my electronic stuffs from my solar panel. I then started to cycle at around noon to get to Tsetserleg, a town with big supermarket and cheap hotels!!… which sits only another 50km away. The wind was harsh again once in a while… and I cycled fast whenever there was no wind.. taking advantage before I get slowed down by the wind again.