Riding North Towards Siberia

Tsetserleg was the last point on my ride towards the west fighting the wind. I then turned north… making my way towards Khovsgol, north of Mongolia bordering with Siberia. It was a tough ride through mountains, I climbed a few mountainpasses each day but at least the wind was with me. I passed by a few small villages that I don’t even know the existence of it, nowhere I found it on the map but it can be a bit confusing since some of the places here have exactly the same name. For example, after a few hundreds of kilometers of ride from Tsetserleg, I found another very small village called Tsetserleg also.

a zebra crossing.. eh.. I mean sheep crossing

a zebra crossing.. eh.. I mean sheep crossing

Riding north towards Siberia… feels like its already autumn but without the falling leaves. Sometimes I feel that its getting colder each night even though the winter has left this part of the world. This is because I was heading north, towards the coldest place on earth outside the Antartica, Yakutsk of Siberia. The temperature there can plummet to the harsh frostbiting -70 celcius during winter and people still live there…. the toughest people. The day is getting warmer, somewhere between 10-15 celcius which is very comfortable for riding but each night I still turned into a human shaped ice cream wrapped inside a sleeping bag which feels like a plastic bag. And finally, I got sick… just a minor fever. My body is weaken and climbing mountainpasses pulling my heavy loaded bicycle that looks like a street fruitstall feels like forever.

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sleeping under the sky of Mongolia

sleeping under the sky of Mongolia

I didn’t stop riding while I was sick, I kept going for another 2 days until I reached a town called Moron! Hehe… what a moron! :) I stayed a day in Moron doing nothing but lying down on a comfortable bed under a roof… taking a good rest. I never take any medicine if I fall sick, I let my body fight it instead. My medicine is only by drinking hot water… and a good day of rest. Moron is considered a midsized town in Mongolia, nothing much here but there are some supermarket and cheap hostels, which is good enough for me. Surrounded by mountains, it feels like an oasis in the middle of a desert here.

approaching Khovsgol Nuur near Siberia

approaching Khovsgol Nuur near Siberia

Frozen lake of Khovsgol Nuur, a younger sister of the Baikal Lake of Siberia

Frozen lake of Khovsgol Nuur, a younger sister of the Baikal Lake of Siberia

abandoned ships at the frozen lake of Khovsgol

abandoned ships at the frozen lake of Khovsgol

After a good day rest and all my energy recharged into a full bar, I pressed another 100km towards Khovsgol Nuur, a beautiful high altitude lake in the north, which is located very close to the infamous Baikal Lake in Siberia. There is a small village here, Khatgal, at the southern part of the lake, which feels more like Russia, compared to Mongolia. Some people even greeted me in Russian. There are forests here, so the houses here are made by wood… which looks like a postcard from Siberia. I found a cheap ger to stay and the owner speaks good English and provided me a lot of useful information to explore the surroundings. So it’s a good opportunity for me and I made this place as my launching pad to explore the wilderness here. Weather is not so good here and the wind is now coming from the Arctic blowing through Russia, carrying very cold air that gets into my bones.

inside my ger in Khatgal

inside my ger in Khatgal

overlooking Khatgal village from one of the hills

overlooking Khatgal village from one of the hills

shaman prayerflags

shaman prayerflags

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shaman prayerflags under the colours of sunset

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8 Comments on “Riding North Towards Siberia

  1. Your photography is amazing! Congratulations. Incidentally, those abandoned ships on Khuvsgul are not abandoned … thy just don’t go anywhere during winter. The bigger one at the rear is the ‘Sukhbaatar’, which IS the Mongolian Navy. Very much a going concern in the summer months.

  2. Your spirit just a uniquely portable magic. Keep on riding! All the best bro! All is well! inshaAllah. B-)

  3. Cantik sungguh, tak jemu mata memandang. Langit dihiasi bintang gemerlapan. Tapi sengsara kesejukan menggigil. Bukankah Siberia tempat pembuangnan penjenayah? Dan kenapa dengan Tasik Baikal ?

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