I went into the café, and I saw what they were eating, and it just wasn’t going to work for me this time… some culture food works and some don’t! There is only one choice in this cafe.. boiled minced meat wrapped in a little dumpling is the best way I can describe it. I'm not sure what the meat is but the smell is mostly what put me off.
So I decided to try the supermarket.
Do I pull in next to the horses? I thought not to scare them I’ll stop here.
I quickly ran into the supermarket (after a man helped me find a lady to unlock the door), and as soon as I saw it, was quite a let down. I find it has no food, except cookies, candy and soda. Not what I wanted for lunch. Best I could come up with was a small bottle of Aloe Vera drink. Was very good, but not fulfilling. I do have my candy bar, so that with the drink will have to do today.
Kids just got out of school, and come for a look as well! So many people surrounding me and the bike, it was starting to get a bit tense. So I pull them out in the street to take a photo. Such rosy cheeks!
Watch out for the traffic kids!
I take my juice and bar out of town..
I pass this little settlement, and loved that not only do they have a satellite dish , but 2 lots of solar power.. cool!
And I might add, although I didn’t get a picture of it, I was riding past a group of yurts that were surrounded by an old rickety stone fence. I saw someone standing on the stone and assume they were looking over of herd of goats across the path I was riding. But when I passed this person it was a woman standing high on the fence for best reception as she talked on her mobile phone!
Okay.. it’s an interesting mix. I see women on horses ride to a creek for a wash, really primitive looking homes… yet connected to the world with satellite dishes and mobile phones.
Looks like a peaceful existence regardless. But it’s getting late, very cold and windy.
From here on I pick up the pace. I get to a place where the tracks are going every which way really bad again.. I am trying so hard to follow the gps, but it’s going straight up and over that large hill!! With no track!
Dirt looks a bit soft, I think I’ll stick to the track and hope for the best. After a couple kilmometers, the waypoint track was completely gone off my gps. I am way off track. But I can’t be!! The track clearly doesn’t go over that hill.
The one thing I know is that I am heading east. This means I will eventually meet up with the main road I originally took into Olgiy.
And sure enough, just as I was about to ride up to a single yurt to see if I can manage to ask to confirm direction, I see a car heading south in the distance. That must be the main road. Yay!! I was so happy when I got there.
I made it through that crazy dirt track, nearly fell over how ever many times. 2 water crossings, no food… wasn’t going to do it, but I did and I’m out!!
I am so glad I didn’t talk myself out of it. It was such a unique and beautiful place to ride through. And I am actually quite proud of myself!
Now back on the main road, it’s time to get knocked around for a while with the nastiest ridges they could come up with.. but my goal is to see if I can get to the border before they close.. If not, there a few houses around it I was hoping I could camp next to as a 2nd option.
I rode to the border.. they all knew me from a couple days before and waved me through. Hallelujah! I can go back to Russia – and eat Russian food! (Not to take away that I had the most amazing experience in Mongolia, but I do prefer my Russian meals.. ;-)
Now I need to ride to the first Russian gate.
Even though it was a nice change to have those dirt road challenges again.. kinda.
Need to ride another 20 km to the official border crossing for immigration etc.
It was hilarious as I pulled in. It was 4:30 when I pulled in to the Mongolia border and got stamped out., probably 20 minutes later? I remember wondering, if I have to ride that many kilometres to the Russian border, would they be closed? Surely that won’t leave me locked in here between gates all night. Do they communicate with each other? But then I thought, I do have my tent.. that would actually be kind of fun! I’d be completely safe.. !
But the Russians were waiting on me. It was hilarious. They all had their overcoats on and briefcases at the door. Would have been worth a picture, but I don’t think they would have been happy for me to take the extra time.
I must add they were all completely thorough on their job even though they wanted to go home.
I think it was about 6 pm, by time we all got finished.. The last man at the little green building was standing in the road after I got out of the border gate, to bring me back in his office for my immigration stamp. He points to his watch. ‘Home… dinner!!”
I said I know, I am sorry! He smiled and stamped me in.. and then shooed me out the door!
I rode straight up to my little wooden yurt man and he was so happy to see me… however he was busy at the house next door, helping a woman deliver a baby.
So I unpacked.. no banya tonight.. Magazine was closed so I didn’t even get ramen noodles. I will have to be happy with that one candy bar and aloe vera drink I had at 2:30.