15 July 2008

MONGOLIA day-15 6 July 2006 return to Khovsgol ^

MONGOLIA day-15 6th July 2006
It rained all night and by the morning the stratus cloud was a drizzle and the fog limited visibility to 300 metres. The stony uphill for the first 6 kilometres was hot work even though the temperature was about 11˚. At a large creek crossing the cars including the Russian “Comby” vans were almost submerged, their wheels underwater and engines revving jarringly. Our only choice was to disassemble the bikes from their panniers and *wade across in the fast flowing shallower sections. Two Mongolian boys on a Russian Planeta motorbike simply full throttled without any hesitation; their cylinder heads were underwater and the exhaust bubbled. They almost made it and with minimal assistance from us were on their way. A group of Germans and Europeans were very considerate, having made sure that we also crossed safely. I had been pondering for a while why Mongolian rivers often appear from nowhere; a stony creek bed; deceptively dry; would at a certain point begin to gush water. The only conclusion being that the water flows under the stony base, this being something that I have never observed previously. This was confirmed when I placed my ear to the ground and could just hear the burbling underneath. A short 27 kilometres to KHATGAL has given us another rest day. My whole body feels heavy and lethargy promises an afternoon sleep.

See above photo:A phonetic alphabet was invaluable for transliterating Russian script when reading road signs. Here we are on the main gravel road to MORON near the minor turnoff to Russian Siberia.
* Refer to photo: “photo of authors” at top page of weblog.

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