Mongolia what to expect?
Got the visa quicker than the Russian girlie managerd to get hers (only took me 24 hours and cost alot less than hers). Not sure if I should wait for her till friday as it means another 2-3 days sitting around, Hannas still hasn't got his part though DHL's fault messing with him its in Irkusk but they are not letting him have it.
I know I can make it to UB as there is a road not a good one but a road none the less as its only 350km from the Russian border which is about 300km away.
Question is ...
Is it worth it? , considering my offroading ability is what you can call 'limited' in that I'm hearing horror stories from riders passing back of deep mud , bike deep river crossings , constant punctures. And thus any outings in Mongolia will just be day trips along routes nearby UB , which may mean alot of sitting around in hostels and such like in UB . Also my front tyre is a metzelier something which is awful off road , I tried it in the mud a few days back and it got clogged up pretty quick.
In that my other option is just to tackle the Amur highway soon and get to Vlad sooner rather than later, and have a better crack in a few years time.
Note I also still lack a comprehensive tool kit due to losses and theft which means I'm travelling dangerously.
I have enough tools to take off both wheels , but as so far yet found no tyre levers and have found a very bad alternative .....being plier handles and mole grip handles. And thus a puncture is fixable but it will take hours.
Just go see UB and head back after a few day trips out and about ?
Sorry, I can't tell from your post which border you are considering entering Mongolia at. Makes a difference...
At the very least I would find some tyre levers, and if you mean the entry directly north of UB then you should be fine if you take it easy. Any entry into West Mongolia would benefit from further preparation.
Whilst UB isn't the most charming of bases, the journey there and around will at least be memorable.
Are you in Irkutsk?
The road from nearby Ulan Ude (Russia) to Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) is almost entirely paved (unless they are doing construction).
It is a nice change of scenery from Russia.
You can even arrange for trips out of UB other than on motorcycle (horse, jeep, etc.).
Give it a try if you are not in a hurry. It is almost time for the Naadam festival, so you may want to make reservations in a guest house in advance. Of course you can camp almost anywhere in the country!
You could possibly buy tools in UB. It is a city with a lot of cars, so there has to be a way to get at least the basic tools. Spend a few days in the markets and you should be able to make a decent tool kit.
I'm about to leave Irkusk , problem is I've not been able to find such tools in Russia in a HUGE motormarket nearby the bikers club with the considerable help from colebatch he could only get me glue and patches...
He effectively stated that you can get almost nothing in UB , but I think I'm going to have to take the chance and dive in and see , in that although old russian bikes there are the norm surely they fix tyres with levers and such like.
I went round rather than in barnaul because of the total lack of tools , I've been picked clean regularly , lost a tool kit in Georgia , replaced it in turkey , then had it stolen off the ferry to Sochi,
Then had a bunch of bikers make me a tool kit which then got stolen again while it was parked in a 200rouble secure parking underground carpark. Which just boils my blood utterly.
how's the amur highway doing these days?
Amur August 2008
Amur Highway August 2008: All perfectly passable. All bridges are now in place and are covered in lovely tarmac. The road 'East' Chita to Khabarovsk, the first 76 Km is lovely tarmac but then it stops. It's then just over 1,733 Km to the next tarmac. After that .. it's ok but variable. The only real difficult parts are where the new large grade gravel is in the process of being laid but has not been compacted. All of the Amur is passable on a road bike .. with care in places. Fuel is available all of the way .. mostly 90+ Ron, cafe's plentiful, Japanese car drivers still a menace.
hi we are in tomsk at the moment and have just come in from spending a month in mongolia and the raod from ulaan ude to ullan battar is tarmac all the way, took us 4 hours in a landrover.
hope this helps
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