Mongolia 2012. Day 9: Ihtamir – gorge near Tariat

16th of august, 2012.mongolia day 9

Click on the image to see map

The wind didn’t start in the morning. Not the strong wind, at least. A cloudy sky turned suddenly blue and made my first kilometers quite nice. Uphill, long but not too tiring. Paved.

To be honest, this day was one of the prettiest. Even the strong head winds that arosed at midday didn’t spoil it. The view is very nice, the colours as well, and the mixture of mountains, hills and unending flat lands just great.

Not a plane in the sky

There’re 2 bars/shops/restaurants/whatever you want to call them at kilometer 30 or 40. Stop there if you can, since there’s almost nothing for a long time! The road is properly paved, very little traffic… Definitively, a great cycling place. And I’m saying this even if I was very tired because of the wind, even thinking about calling it a day and stopping somewhere. I guess cycling in the opposite direction must feel like heaven…

(Now every memory is a good one. But this moment in the middle of the day, when the wind was so very strong, I was really pissed of. It wasn’t nice AT ALL!!! So be careful here…)

Rain caught me 10 kilometers before the gorge. Such a pity… Managed to get to a restaurant, but still got soaked. Some French expedition on quads (?!?) gave me some food and teased me a little bit; they were really nice, and you should know I don’t like quads at all (they destroy the land a lot, plus the noise).

arriving to the gorge

When the rain stopped (and it took 2 hours or more for that to happen) I kept on going. Those few houses by the gorge (is that Ondor Ülaan??) make a really nice town over a bridge (and next to another, older, broken bridge). Small, just a bunch of houses and nothing else, but nice.

gorge near Tariat

Just after that came one of the highlights of the whole trip: the gorge. A very nice canyon, with a strong river and a beautiful forest. Definitively worth a visit (or just stopping by, since the road goes next to it). I found some locals acting as tourists as well. There’re some sleeping places towards the exit, but they were quite expensive for my budget (and for what they were offering), so I kept going.

The paved road, by the way, ends one kilometer after the bridge. Bye bye. I didn’t find any other paved road for a week.

But I was really tired by then. 100 kms with opposite winds are tiring, I can tell you, and I’m sure you know. And the road, on top of being unpaved, was quite bumpy. So I didn’t make it too far. Couple of kilometers after the gorge, I camped. Great place to sleep this one as well. Still, I was a little bit afraid of horses, since they got really close to my tend all night long. They sounded pretty wild too. Anyway, it was a good sleep. Of course.

I was expectong to arrive to Tariat that day. It was a little bit dissapointing not doing so. Still, those 20 kms left would have been too tiring, and besides it was about to get dark, and the weather didn’t seem very friendly. And cycling by night is no good; you miss too many things.



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