Mongolian herders with camels and cycle tourers
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Ulaanbaatar to Tsetserleg

We were kindly hosted by EK and his family in UB who helped us hit the ground running. EK chauffeured us around to pick up supplies and extend our visas. We had our first taste of marmot and fermented mare’s milk. Thanks EK!


We had paved roads out of UB so it was free sailing for the first leg of the journey. At night we followed a dirt track off road to find a quiet place to camp.

We came across a mini Benbulben!

Irish stew for dinner. A tin of beef with spuds and veg when we could get it. The smaller towns we passed mostly sold preserved food, it was very difficult to find fresh fruit or vegetables.

On our 3rd day we met Sonya and her family who stopped their car and fed us with meat dumplings (hoshuur) and salsa sandwiches. She is Mongolian but moved to America with her mum and they were back on holidays. Her brother gave us great advice about our route and warned us about wolves in the mountains we were about to enter.

177km from UB. Making tracks!

Looking for a place to rest for the night we bumped into these lads from Zavkhan who were herding their flock all the way to UB. They gestured that we should camp together.

The next thing we knew they were lassoing a goat for supper. Ciaran reluctantly helped to skin the goat. We had khorkhog which involves heating rocks on a open fire then putting the hot rocks into the goats stomach with goat meat, veg and seasoning.

Ciaran at one with nature!

Comparing modes of transport!

It was pretty hot and hard to find shade with very little trees. These guys had the right idea!

Heading off road to Ugii Nuur (lake).

We met two Polish cycle tourers, Ania and Symoa, the only other cyclists we met in Mongolia.

Our first and well needed wash after 7 days.

Heading south to Kharkhorin through Orkhon valley where we saw Turkish standing stones and deer stones, generally the place had a quite magical, mythical feel to it.

The weather in Mongolia is very changeable, one minute you have perfect sunshine the next it’s pouring rain.

Ciaran stopping at a roadside ger to buy mare’s milk. It’s like fizzy horse milk that’s slightly alcoholic and very sour. He was also addicted to dried yak curd which is full of protein. Yum!

Colourful rooftops in Kharkhorin

Back on Tarmac to Tsetserleg.


Distance 600km

12 days on the road from July 16-27

No punctures

24 Snickers eaten

1 Comment so far

  1. Pingback: Five Countries to Cycle Tour, 2017. | Crank and Cog

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