Karakorum, Bat-Ulzii, Arvaikheer – ~400km
A short boring ride to Karakorum, to visit the old capital of the Mongol Empire. Not much left, as one would expect from a civilisation which mostly prefers to live in yurts/gers. A reasonable museum, which for the first time, gave a concise timeline of the Khans and major events.
Also ran into a group riding Royal Enfield Himalayas, from the same company which I rode in Nepal with… had a short chat with the guide.
Then – with dampered excitement – off to see a waterfall – Ulaan Tsutgalan.
I kept telling myself “in this country of grasslands/plains/steppes/desert – don’t expect too much from a waterfall”.
Still – after a 125km ride, it was hard not to be a little disappointed. It was a reasonable waterfall, with a nice setting – and a big pool down below to swim in. Just… probably not worth the 125km one-way side-trip.
And – the nearby ger camps were all over the price-gouging (first time I’ve seen in Mongolia… typically even hotel mini-bar beers are nearly the same price as supermarket) – so, I rode back to less-than-scenic Bat-Ulzii to spend the night.
Next day – another short ride, to get to a decent-sized town, to find a decent-quality-hotel – and watch some rugby. So, arrived in Arvaikheer – and checked into the classiest looking hotel in town (all very relative). Scrambled through the TV channels – no Setanta. Instead, tried to stream the match through local internet… with varying levels of success. Mongolia internet – not fast. But… much more satisfying rugby game, from what I could watch, and… much more satisfying hot shower. In Mongolia, I’m measuring time by hot showers… the metric is roughly equivalent to a week.