Counter: 438 km
I left Ulaanbaatar on a cold but sunny sunday morning. The city was quite, the road was mine! It snowed the whole night before, the mountains around the city were all white: it was really enjoyable.
After 20 kilometers, buildings and industry let place to the nature, the mighty mongolian nature... And the wind started to blow. With all my warmest clothes, and though the road was climbing a lot, I froze the whole morning.
But cold was soon over, and in the afternoon, I found a beautiful place to put the tent, just in the middle of nowhere, under a hot sun. Horses went around when I was cooking, and they were soon replaced with cows. They have just give birth, and it is really nice to see colts and veals learning life.
It feels good to be in the nature again. It feels good to move my body.
I'm on the road again!
I covered around 400 kilometers on my first five days here. And found four terrific places to put the tent and spend the evenings. I ride sometimes kilometers away from the road to find magic places for the evening: I slept between boulders at the foot of Khogno Khan, a prominent mountain for religious Mongols. I try not to see it as 20 more kilometers on my road. I'm here as a tourist, and will doubtless never be here again. Goal is not the destination, goal is for me the road and nice moments.
I try to take time to prepare the food, to relax, to read, to enjoy the nature. Landscapes are magnificents. Grandiose grasslands surrounded with mountains and cliffs. Portion of desert. Thousands of horses, cows, lambs, camels living their life. It's a real pleasure to ride and see them around. The sun is always there, and I enjoy a nice 25 - 30°C nearly all the time: the temperature I love for cycling.
But nothing is perfect, and I have to say that I suffer a lot against the wind. I'm riding West, it is coming from West. And it is strong, sometimes reeeeaaalllly strong. It sticks me on the road. I give all that I have, and can sometimes cover only 6 or 7 kilometers in one hour. Yesterday, I gave up after 40 km, and four hours of fight. It was way too strong for me. Squalls were playing with me and my bike like a feather; it began to be dangerous. I hope it will be better...
I'm now in Kharkhorin, and enjoy a day off by the riverside of Orghon river. The body needs to recover after those five days of riding.
PS: I wrote this note with my telephone, but have to do it in html, which I'm bad at. I don't have the possibility to caption the picture. I will fix it next time I'll have a computer. Hope lay out is not too bad.