160 km nothing
After we woke up, we had a coffee and offered one to a old lady who was passing by our tents while collecting horse shit (hard job - ask me) for making fire. We cycled back to Ondorshil to the supermarket and bought food and water. We knew the next 160km till Sainshand there was nothing to expect except of nature, steppe , sun and sky ... but no supermarket food or what so ever.
We both loaded 11 liters of water besides the coke, juices, chocolate bars, soups and candies.
The bikes weight now more thyan 70 kg .... but it feels good to know you are prepared for such a trip. We left Ondorshil and I still could not believe that we will not see a town, saupermarjet or just a place to get some food for the next 3 days.
The 1st 20km went smooth and easy. You often have that while cycling, 10 km are passing by like nothing anmd the next 10 km you seem to need hours. We had our stop after 20km and had some soup and coffee. The next 20km also went fast but the wind became a bit stronger. We found shelter at a wooden hut - most probably the only one onm the way.
The next 10 km felt like cycling on a home trainer. Same scenery ... sandy and wash board road and wind from the side. We felt like not moving ... on the other side it was still amazing to see the landscape beeing the same for such a long time. The next 10 km the sun came out and the landscape changed. I felt like cycling in an african steppe with all the bushes. We stopped at around 60km and hided behind our bikes from the strong wind.
We pitched our tents - which was not easy with the wind - and made some food.
Hardcoreis the only way to describe the 2nd day. We had serious wind the whole night and when we woke up the wind was still freezing cold. We had our breakfast and started cycling again. We had our 1st stop after 10km. Deep sand and wash board rad made it hard to get into the rythmj. After 5km we had our next break. Same conditions and we got tired from cycling. We both knew we need a break from cycling but we wanted to make it to Sainshand.
After that break I hit myself with the pedal on my leg ... not the best cycling day. After 7km we stopped again ... waiting for a miracle to happen.
The shy ger
After km 30 the road got better. We continued cycling, passing by camel herds and the sun started to shine again. After 50km we decided to stop at a ger (the only one on the way).
The owners seemed to be very shy and didnt offered us anything ... so far.
We prepared our food and listened to the weeping camels. With all the wood we collected on our way we started a bonfire and suddenly the owners appeared and gave us some butter milk candies. Those were by far the most horrible onces I ever tasted :( ... for my philippino crowd ....don't worry I will bring some of them home ... and once you tasted them you know what i am talking about :)
...and if you think it can not be worse ... be prepared. Hardcore 2was waiting for us. We woke up it was still cold. We had our coffee and realized Erika had a flat. After repairing it we started cycling. Seep sand and wash board road would be the conditions for today and we got more and more tired. The only thing that kept us going was the knowledge of Sainshand ...where a shower, food and cold drinks would wait for us. We saw Sainshand 15km before we reached it ...but this was most probably the longest 15 km I ever cycled. Finally we made it, had some serious food and found a nice hotel. I don't know if the showers are open again but I am sure after we finished our shower they had sto seriously clean it for the next days.
In the lobby we met a spanish guy, Diego who is cycling with his friend since 6 month ...thgey are so tiored they hired a taxi in Ulan Baatar who is carrying their luggage whiler they are cycling without.
They hearded about us on the street. Kids where telling them in Cojr that there are 2 cyclist passed by a few days ago.
The 160km from Ondorshil to Sainshand is quite hard. A lot off sand and wash board roadsa make the cycling a serious ride. The fact that there is no shelter or anything to rest or get shade doesn't make it easier. At least it is not very hilly :)