I went to the DHL office on Friday to pick up the suspension. But the tracking number I had didn't work with their system. After a long day involving many phone conversations, SMS messages and a trip to the Central Post Office, I learned that the package was sent using regular post, not express... I was told that the package was en route via China and it would arrive in about 3 weeks. I was shocked! This would be a relatively acceptable mistake if I hadn't specifically told them that I wanted it sent via DHL Express and would be paying the difference. Someone in Germany, wanted to save a few bucks and didn't take my instructions seriously. I called them back and asked them to build me another suspension free of charge, and send it via DHL Express. But such a demand required the approval of the big boss ...Read More

I insisted on sleeping in the morning. I didn't want anything to wake me up. The Brits packing up, the cows and camels, the children running around, the wind from the door left open as they were bringing in some wood... Everything wanted me to wake up but I insisted. So much that I even pretended to sleep for what appeared to be another half hour. Finally, some guests arrived and they neded a place to sit. So I had to pretend waking up... After having some more tea in yak milk and fresh cream for breakfast, I started packing up. During the night, a cow decided to taste my bike. Some of the shiny numbers on the fairing had gone. Instead of "314559", now it read "3 59". As if that wasn't enough, a little boy seemed to think that my exhaust pipes were appropriate toys to fill ...Read More

We woke up very early and started riding towards the rising sun. Already, there were some hints of road construction. I even tried riding on a closed section of unused gravel. It felt really good until I came across a pile of earth blocking the road. I tried to cross over it but the bike got stuck. I had to pull it down and go back to find a way out of the raised road surface. Then there was a sandstorm hitting us head on. Luckily, it didn't last too long. The dirt roads once again became dirt tracks above the mountains. This would really be a lot of fun on a motocross bike. I felt like riding a horse on the fresh mountain tracks. To my amazement, by the evening, the tracks merged into a perfectly paved brand new piece of asphalt. It was so perfect, I had difficulty ...Read More

I left in the morning around 7:30. I couldn't sleep for too long and somehow lost my appetite. After riding for a few hours, I realized that I wasn't where I thought I was on the map. Apparently, at one point I missed the main road and took a detour. I was running out of fuel. I knew I couldn't make it to the next town so I decided to wait there in the middle of the desert. Here, fuel and water are very important. One is distance and the other is time. You have to have at least one of those. I had enough water for one day so I wasn't worrying much. Soon enough, a local VAZ van appeared. It was a little hard to convince them to sell petrol to me, but they finally agreed. As soon as they left, another rally car appeared on the horizon. ...Read More

In the morning I went to the local marketplace to see if I could find an URAL suspension. This is a more heavyweight Russian motorcycle occasionally found around the area. I found one, but even that didn't seem strong enough. I left after lunch, hoping that the rubber would hold on for a few days. I tried to cover as much ground as possible stopping only at an interesting grave of some sort. There was a family of four next to it. I assume it was their child inside the grave because it was very small. Then they all got on the small motorcycle and disappeared. All four of them... I'm getting used to this scene. The road crossed above a high plateau. It was supposed to be sandy but the recent rains had hardened the ground a bit. Instead of sand, there were hardened sculptures of wheel tracks in sand. ...Read More

I learned that Gale and Craig are also part of another organization and they will be donating their motorcycles in Ulaan Baatar just like the other Mongol Rally teams. I think this creates a difference in riding style because they don't seem to care about the vehicles. Both of their suspensions are broken. Their fenders have cracked and fallen off because the rear wheel had been banging on it for so long. The engines were leaking oil all over. They were pushing very hard on the washboard and sand. I suggested going slower but they seemed to think that it wouldn't make a difference. Before noon, we stopped by what seemed to be an accident site. There was nobody around. Just a rally car with a broken axle on one side and a pile of stuff on the other... It was Berta, the same girl that rolled over on the ...Read More

When I woke up, my ankle and knee was worse. I decided to wait for it to warm up, so spent the morning fixing a few things with the bike and sewing my crash-bar bags. There was a hot shower set-up in the compound and I badly needed one. I left around 10 am after filling up in the city. There is usually no electricity so you have to find a pump with a working generator. The day was entirely composed of washboards alternating between gravel and sand. I had to take side roads which were less consistent but had fewer washboards. On one of these, I noticed that the sand was getting deeper. I stopped to see if there was another way. I noticed a motorcycle approaching on my mirror. It was a cheap 125cc Chinese bike. A young Mongol couple were riding on it. They stopped to say ...Read More