Posts in Mongolia


Mongolia Lab Rat Run

25 July 17

touring cycling in Mongolia  A cynic would argue with gloomy enthusiasm that high hopes and fine expectations are a sure fire recipe for disappointment, as, I suspect, would many a realist. And so it was that I headed for Mongolia earlier this month with both high hopes, and a niggling foreboding of doom. 

It is for some years now that I have been eager to host a Mongolia tour, and so the surprise meeting early this year with an agent in Ulaanbaatar who asked to cooperate on a camping tour in the Kangi Mountains gave me cause for much excitement and the anticipation of a super adventure to come.

As I discussed the details of the tour and my requirements with the agent I felt more and more that I was dealing with a trustworthy fellow who valued the need for quality highly, and believed in a fair and honest working relationship. And so it was that for the first time ever rather the venture alone or with a chum to inspect and explore a route I contacted a small group of PaintedRoads valued regulars and invited them to join me on a Mongolia expedition. Unsurprisingly most eagerly jumped at the chance of adventure in an unknown land and quickly became known collectively as, the LabRats.

And so it was that Dianne, Nigel, Marko, Phil, Keith, Echo, and I all met early in July in Ulaanbaatar’s Grand Khan Irish Pub, eager  for a few pints of Gobi Gold and two weeks of Mongolian cycling adventure. 

cycling through Mongolian meadow and flowers

Rather than describe the two weeks in detail here and now I will let a few of my photos from the trip give you a little flavour of this wonderful land, and over the next week or so as I go though the pics I will post a few more prior to adding the tour to PaintedRoads' collection. 

It is early days at the moment, we have just returned to our respective homes, but soon I will add the thoughts, comments, and opinions of the LabRats along with further images. 

The bottom line for now is that I had no concern whatsoever to lumber my journey to Ulaanbaatar with nagging doubts. The Mongolia LabRat Run was absolutely superb in all respects. The crew were excellent, the food, produced in a kitchen tent was exceptional, the tents and the camping were great, and the overall organisation was splendid. 

For anyone wishing to exchange the Westernised life of the 21st century for two weeks of wilderness, where neither car nor wifi nor crowds of people roam, then this tour is just the tonic. It’s a wilderness of trails, through desert and meadows and forests and pastures, across hills and valleys and rivers. It’s a land of nomadic herders who live a tough but pure life and understand the value of kindness, sharing, and friendliness, far above and beyond greed and materialism - am I smitten with Mongolia? Yes, I most certainly am, and I cannot wait to return.

Full details of the new Mongolia tour will follow soon. 

Finally on a personal note, many thanks LabRats, it was, and you were, brilliant!

Russian truck as support vehicle on Mongolian cycling tripOur support vehicles were the rather wonderful Russian made UAZ - think of it as a VW camper on steroids.

A wilderness tour for sure, Mongolia offered a wonderful variety of terrain and riding from smooth tracks and grassy hills...

cycling through a desert in Mongolia to desert...

cyclists crossing a river in Mongoliato river crossings

touring cyclist campsite in MongoliaCamping was a civilised affair with a kitchen/dining tent, shower tent, loo tent, and a four made dome tent between one or two depending on booking

Camping food in Mongolia The camp chefs turned out an amazing selection of quality cuisine

Cycling Orkhon valley MongoliaThe Orkhon valley, quite lovey

Mongolian cycling tour guideCycling guide, mechanic, camp guard, and instant PaintedRoads legend - Toro

Riding across the pastures

Mongolian ger camp on cycling tourFrom time to time we would over night in a ger camp, an agreeable and comfortable experience

Mongolian camp foodAnother wonderful meal. The food far exceeded expectations

cyclists passing a scull in MongoliaWilderness riding

cyclists in MongoliaWide open spaces

 Mongolian nomad boy One of the many nomads we met along the way

Mongolian horse menMore friendly nomads

Cyclist and yak in MongoliaMeeting yaks, a regular occurrence

campsite for cyclists in MongoliaOur tents

cyclists taking a break in MongoliaCheers all, a typical tea break

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