This goes above our hat*

So, on Tuesday the 5th of September we started our biking adventure from Tsetserleg. As it was our first time travelling with a mountain bike, we wanted to do a track that wasn’t too difficult, challenging and extremely beautiful. Not too much to ask we thought.
We chose the 8 – loop to the Orkhon Waterfalls 
(http://www.fairfield.mn/tours-and-activities/gps-tracks/view/8). 
According to Murray (owner of Fairfield guesthouse) you can do it in 4 days if you’re hardcore, and 6 if you want to take it easy. As we belong to the second category of bikers we prepared to be away for 6 days. We left around 11 in the morning excited, with smiles on our faces and sun in our hearts. 
 
We soon learned that we had made two crucial, rookie mistakes. 
 
First, when loading the bikes with the panniers we didn’t really think about the weight distribution on our bikes. So, I (Lisa) left with the heaviest load. Makes total sense if you grew up in Belgium, never mountain biked before and therefore have underdeveloped mountain bike-muscles. 
 
Secondly, we stopped for lunch at a beautiful spot right next to a river, which we crossed before sitting down to eat our sandwiches. When we wanted to leave Remo noticed that we were a bit of

f the suggested GPS track. We had two options, crossing the river again to get back on to the GPS track or just cycle forward. According to the GPS we were on a road that would eventually merge back on to the correct track, “Let’s go for the adventure” we thought but we were in for a bit of a surprise. 
The new road had 150 more height and was NOT a road. NOT even a dirt track. 
It was more of a suggestion of a track through really high grass, and it was a challenge to get through it. 
Result: Total.physical.breakdown after just 4 hours of cycling. 
 
When we finally got to the top, the reward was a beautiful downhill ride to the valley where we would put up our tent and rest for the night. Before we left, Murray advised us to always knock on the door of the nearest ger (a yurt) and ask the nomad family if we could put up our tent nearby. They will invite you in for tea and some food and from that moment on they consider you as their guests (meaning you’re somewhat protected, as the most dangerous thing you can encounter in Mongolia is a drunk person or a group of them). Before passing out on our mattresses that’s exactly what we did. 
What an experience of Mongolian hospitality! 
 
On the second day of our trip, we started realizing that we weren’t advancing enough to be able to finish the 8-loop in 6 days. Bit of a problem as we just brought food for 6 days and thus were not prepared to stay any longer. We would need to cover more than 50 kilometres and about 700 height meters a day if we wanted to finish in time. After just two days we knew that that was well above our hat. The limo-caravan can just cover around 30 kilometres a day. Because hey, it’s still a holiday. We want to sleep a little longer and have our coffee in the morning! So, we decided to turn back to Tsetserleg. But off course we made a stop at the hot springs. We enjoyed our bubble bath with a view on the surrounding mountains and slept inside a ger while it was raining outside. Aaah, that feeling of total content! 
 
At the moment, we’re back at Fairfield. Having a cappuccino and a carrot cake and discussing our next steps. We will keep on biking because we really loved it but at least now we know what our limits are 😊.
 
*Literal translation of” “Dat gaat ons pet te boven”
English equivalent: We are out of our league. 

11 thoughts on “This goes above our hat*

  1. Hello Guy’s,

    Really nice pictures, looks amazing in Mongolia! Beautiful nature apparantly, Enjoy:)
    Hahaha funny story with your mountainbikes, take it indeed easy and also relax . Have fun with your next mountai bike trips !!

    Sillie

  2. Hahahahaha you silly billys!! Thats what happens when you don’t have big strong leg muscles. The carrot cake definitely sounds like the winning option though 🙂

    1. :-), carrot cake was the best decision! Back from our second biking trip at the moment and we’re going to order exactly the same.

  3. Remo en Lisa, heerlijk, de fiets in Mongolia. Het is gelukt! Jongens ik ben jaloers. Fietsen zonder echt ergens te moeten geraken vinden wij altijd het beste recept.

    Geniet er nog kei hard van. En die meren daar zitten vol vis he…

    1. Het is inderdaad gelukt! En we hadden zelfs goeie fietskes met échte panniers (na een zoektocht van 5 dagen in UB, maar het was de moeite). Fietsen was de max!

      En wat de vissen betreft: ik heb nog nooit in mijn leven een vis gevangen. Uiteraard heb ik het ook hier weer geprobeerd met een geïmproviseerde hengel, traditiegetrouw zonder succes. Zullen eens gaan oefenen in ‘t Rivierenhof als we terug zijn!

  4. Waaauw Lisa, kei leuk geschreven! Ik kijk er telkens weer naar uit om jullie verhalen te lezen!
    Nog heeeeel veel plezier ginder !

    Groetjes, Evelien

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