We rode into the capital of Mongolia with the rainstorm that has been chasing us the entire day finally catching up and the wind whipped-up a huge dust cloud and for the tenth time today I tasted sand and wiped the dust out of my eyes.
The days ride was a lonely one as I spent most of the day at the back of the pack, I stopped for photos several times before I realised I had no memory card in my camera, then the wind started blowing sand storms and for an hour the visibility was so bad it reminded me of riding in the mist. But then it all changed and I could take several photos.
We stopped at 2 local road-side-restaurants, at the first place the lady stayed in the white house and from there she cooked us little fat-cakes with mince inside and a type of coffee.
The second place one could sit inside and the lady cooks in the middle and there are benches to sit at. I could see a pot of meat on the fire and knew I that I did not want to eat any of that, so I ordered some Chai, (tea) but when I tasted it I almost spat it out as it tasted very salty and was white in colour. They all looked at me and I had to swallow it. Lucky for me there was a little girl and I took my tea outside to collect a little beaded-owl as a gift for her, at the bike I emptied my chai onto the ground before taking the girl the gift.
The mother then started taking photos of me and before I left she took me into amother tent which was for special functions I presume as it had beautful wooden furniture, and all the wooden tent poles had wood carvings on it.
But the road was very very bad, they would close the road for kilometers on end and everyone makes his own road, it looked like the “road” to Ponta D’Oro, many tracks and dusty.
The road was full of potholes andeveryone weaved and bounced around on the narrow little road, so over taking was dangerous as the person being overtaken was concentrating so hard on trying to find the best line they would not look in their mirrors, so one needed to make sure they know you are there before overtaking, and if there was traffic from the front they would suddenly slam on brakes to slow down for a pothole.
Once we checked into the Bates Hotel (no wi-fi on our floor, no hot water and a blocked toilet) we took a taxi (was still raining) to the Chinggis Khan Square where we took some photos.