Mongolia 2012. Day 6: Gurvanbutag – Kharkhorin

13th of august, 2012.mongolia day 6

Middle of nowhere; Gurvanbutag to Hashaat

No sun but no rain that morning. Only goats first and cows later licking my bike. Apart from that, green fields in front of me. And the idea of another great cycling session, jsut like the one the afternoon before.

Camping between Gurvanbutag and Hashaat

The cycling wasn’t that good though. Maybe that’s simply because I cycle better in the afternoons. The road was ok though, all the way to Hashaat. Never saw the sun there anyway.

Hashaat is a small town, pretty similar to Gurvanbutag. Just enough to get some food and play with some kids. So I kept on going.


I got the wrong way out of there. Not by a lot, but still wrong. Had to ride through the steepe for couple of minutes to get the right one though, which I found after asking couple of times in different gers. It wasn’t too bad.

The road gets uphill. Not a lot, and it’s a easy cycle. Fun, actually. As you cycle further up, the sand dissapears from the road, and makes it easier to ride. I got it wrong in the only crossroad I found, but then there isn’t much traffic there and cannot ask around very often. The pass is an easy one.

Kids in Hashaat

Then all the way down. Downhill is VERY nice there! The views are great, with Kharkhorin in the horizon and a huge valley in front of you. Also, it’s a great mountain bike trail. So yes, I enjoyed that a lot.

Road to Kharkhorin

And when you reach the bottom… a paved road. I must be honest, I was happy I found that paved road there. That meant the city was near. Time to get a shower and some proper food.  Or that’s what I though, at least. I didn’t know how wrong I was.

Those 20 km on the paved road were excesive. They felt neverending. I bad some slight opposite wind that didn’t help either. Saw a car crash (a crashed car would be more appropriate), but the driver didn’t want any help. Saw some people horseriding too (and they were Europeans, not Mongolians. They were horseriding FOR FUN). And saw… rain. Rain coming to me, fast. A lot.

Gladly, I made it just in time to Kharkhorin. Not to the center, but it was enough. I waited for half an hour in some abandoned factory in the outskirts of Kharkhorin. That was enough to make me realize of a) Kharkhorin was not going to be a nice city, and b) Kharkhorin was not going to be a city at all, not at least in the sense I was expecting (I was hoping to find a shrinked Ulan Baator). It’s a nice and dusty town, with few remainings of the greatness the name brings to your mind.

Kharkhorin temple walls

So, after a visit to the touristic places and some kind of “shower” (if it can be called like that; just some hot water into a deposit at the height of my head, which meant that I had to kneel down to get some water on me, and the “hot” thing didn’t last for long. Neither did the water, hot or cold). Still, a bed is a bed.

Turtle - symbol outside Kharkhorin temple


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