August 27, 2009 GMT
Loitering in Ulaanbaatar

Well it's been several days of catching up on my sleep, having long conversations with the other travellers here (at one point there were five bikes at the hostel) and trying to eat as much Black Forest Gateau as possible before I leave the luxuries and civilisation of the city.

Many thanks for everyone's messages of congratulations. I do feel quite a sense of achievement in having got here, 11 948 miles from Land's End to Mongolia, across deserts, over mountains across three seas, through hail, sand and dust storms, snow and searing heat. It really has been a journey of extremes, with one of the hardest battles being the struggle with a lot of bureaucracy, one of the legacies left behind by the Soviets in the 'Stans.

Life in UB has been extremely busy, with a lot of my time seemingly taken up in stationary traffic queues, there is an incredibly bad traffic congestion problem here.
Annie flew home from UB having had a very eventful 10 weeks and 6693 miles with me on Thelma from Tashkent in Uzbekistan through Tajikistan, Kyrgyrstan, Kazakhstan and Siberia to Mongolia. She has been an absolute star in every way, having to put up with some of the roughest road conditions I have encountered anywhere in the world, crossing some very high mountains- up to 4700 metres (16,00 feet) and facing up to the rigours of the deserts as well. Even more impressive is the fact that this was the first time she has ever travelled by motorbike.

Of course she has also had to put up with me, which is no mean feat in itself. Thank you Annie for riding with me.

I have now got Ian, my boyfriend as a sputnik (travelling companion), he flew in from England two days ago kindly bringing four tyres, a battery and a regulator with him. Ian will be travelling with me for the next month around Mongolia we'll be in search of the legend of Genghis Khan, not to mention in search of a meal that doesn't include mutton.

Posted by tiffanycoates at August 27, 2009 06:59 AM GMT

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