After spending the past week riding through the Gobi Desert in Mongolia we are now preparing for our next challenge; To ride the Road of Bones (two up) all the way to Magadan which is located in the very North East of Russia. This journey will see us ride roughly 5000km on a one way road which is predominately unsealed to reach this iconic city.
If we’re lucky upon reach Magadan, we’ll be able to find a cargo ship to transport our motorcycle “principessa” all the way down to Vladivostok so we won’t have to re-ride 3000km of the very same road.
From Vladivostok we head to Japan.
Blog Video 95 from SAMt & Bike Without Borders on Vimeo.
We were lucky to be in Mongolia during the Naadam Festival. Three sporting passions of Mongolians, horse racing, wrestling and archery, are played out over 2 days in festivals all over the country.
Wrestling is definitely the most interesting and entertaining of the three sports and every Mongolian understands it and follows it with passion.
Legend has it that wrestlers once wore full jackets, until a woman entered a competition and won. To deter any similar future incidents, the jacket style was modified and now has an open front.
As for the Mongolian roads, the further away from the small villages we got the worse the roads became. The scenery however, made every bump, water hole and river crossing worth every bit of it!
Blog Video 94 from SAMt & Bike Without Borders on Vimeo.
You learn quickly how to navigate in Mongolia and it works a little like this:
– you drive on a dirt track for a while and suddenly it splits into two – no signs, nothing.
– you check the GPS and it looks more confuse that you (if that is possible) so you choose one path and eventually that splits in three – one path joins another path, the second follows a similar course, and the third goes in the opposite direction??
– just because you’re riding towards your destination, it doesn’t mean the road will take you there.
– ask only one person at a time for directions.
Most of our first days riding in Mongolia was based on choosing the track that appeared the best to ride. Unfortunately sometimes tracks run for kilómetres without merging back onto the main path and you end up in the middle of nowhere at some random ger (a Mongolian nomad tent) and upon asking directions you’re encountered with many fingers pointing in different directions.
As you’ll see in the video, it was a long day, full of breathtaking scenery, tricky roads and amazing encounters that eventually lead us to our final destination : and old monastery located in a beautiful isolated valley.
Blog Video 93 from SAMt & Bike Without Borders on Vimeo.
Siberia´s hot temperatures in summer push locals to bath in any water they can find, even if it’s located on the shores in front of a large working factory.
Another interesting feature of Siberia are the traditional wooden houses, built by the working class people before the Russian Revolution in 1917.
The story tells of artisans who discovered that wood could be carved into intricate designs similar to what the wealthy did with stone.
Unfortunately with the rise of communism, private property ownership ceased and many of these houses became government property, but were not well-maintained and fell into disrepair.
Blog Video 92 from SAMt & Bike Without Borders on Vimeo.