September 02, 2009 GMT
Accident in Mongolia

As some of you will have heard, Ian's trip to Mongolia has not gone well. Two days into our trip heading East, I was riding when we hit a patch of mud which for some reason spun us out of control and flipped the bike over. We both came off, as the ultimate sacrifice I provided a soft landing for Ian but he damaged his shoulder (I am more or less OK, just a bit battered and bruised).

It was evening, and a very quiet road so we set up the tent, had a cup of tea and went to bed. The next morning I hitch-hiked into the town (called Ondorkhaan), 20kms away and went to the hospital, truth is I was actually only trying to get a pick up truck to retrieve Thelma, but the message got a bit mixed. However the hospital were brilliant and I soon found myself in a jeep with a driver, a doctor and the driver's mate.
We arrived at the tent to find it empty and that actually Ian was sat in a truck nearby in the warmth of the cabin sharing a meal with the truck driver who was more than happy to meet a Westerner in this unlikely manner.

The doctor made a quick examination and put a sling on Ian (who's shoulder was pointing in two different directions). The men then all had a good look at Thelma - in fact the doc spent more time looking at the bike than examining his patient. They heaved the frame at the front back towards its original position. Thelma started first turn of the key and the driver's mate hopped on and rode Thelma back to town - grinning widely all the way- he had never had an opportunity to ride such a big bike before.
With my sore neck I was happy to take things easy in the jeep.

The hospital took x-rays and said his shoulder needs an operation and told us to go to Ulaanbaatar - the capital city (200 miles away). Or at least we think that is what they said as no-one spoke any English but the x-ray was clear enough.
We were quite happy to not hang around for further treatment as we had by now realised that they might have an x-ray machine but they had no running water at the hospital.

The transport side of things got a bit complicated and we ended up waiting 24 hours before we finally set off. Leaving Thelma locked up in the hotel's garage.
The hospital in UB took more x-rays and has confirmed the ligaments in Ian's shoulder are severely torn and that he needs an operation to pin them back together.
We are currently waiting to hear from his insurance company about flying him home as soon as possible.

Posted by tiffanycoates at September 02, 2009 07:00 AM GMT

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