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Taiga Camp

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In spite of the bad night we get up at 4:00 o'clock, we are dog-tired. We have breakfast and carry the equipment from the fourth floor down. During I load the e-bikes, Tanja goes with our dog Ajaci for a walk. Then the bike trailers must be rolled trough the narrow door outside. The bikes no second may be unobserved. So Tanja with Ajaci stays outside during I roll the trailers with strain over the doorstep and stairs. Bothered by a few freshly woken up vodka corpses, we swing ourselves into the saddles and step in the pedals. We leave the dilapidated settlement behind us. It was founded because of the brown coal deposits discovered in this region only in 1939. Already the first metres lead us the A165 relatively precipitously uphill. We will follow this road to the Mongolian border.

The road writhes up to approx. 900 metres. Tanja and I remember as we were on the move the same distance in the year 2009 with our heavy loaded touring bicycles with trailers. We almost had to push the whole gradient our bikes. Today we switch the support gear to sport and go with 10 km/h to 15 km/h upwards. „Hard to believe“, I am astonished as we reach the top still in good mood and not going through a lot of trouble and pains.Because we are in Burjatien and the Burjaten share with the Mongols the same believe, there is nearly on every mountain top an Ovol. (Sacrificial place)Ovols are most like wigwams piled up wooden trunks in which people tie blue material scraps and flags. The traveller who goes past here hangs such a material in the wood and wishes for himself and his companions a save trip.If one, like we has no such material pieces, one can also take a stone from the close surroundings and pile it up on the Ovol to the other stones. Then one must walk round the sacrificial place three times. This should guarantee a save trip.„Where do you come from?“, asking us a few visitors of the holy site. „What? From Germany?“, they answer, we recognise in their accent immediately Mongols. „You come from Mongolia?“, asks Tanja. "Tijmee" (Yes) they answer pleased to be recognised. Because we have spent during our “big journey” all together about two years in Mongolia, we know a few Mongolian words and phrases we exchange under loud laughter.We just said goodbye to the Mongolians, as a Kazakhs talks to Tanja in Russian, and we speak for a little while. Because today a relatively big distance lies in front of us, soon we say goodbye to the friendly man. We are just on the track he and a second man follow us in a big cross-country vehicle, he stops us, gets out, reaches in his backpack and passes us a bottle of mineral water, a big bag of almonds and an also big bag pistachios. „Take this please, so you have some food on your way“, he says laughing. Before we are able to properly answer he rises again in his car and drives away waving. „There they are again, the hospitable and generous Kazakhs“, I say amazed. From all countries we have travelled during the last 25 years, Pakistan and Kazakhstan belong to the most hospitable people. Often we were presented in generous manner by total strangers. There are wonderful people on this planet.

Because it is relatively fresh up here on more than 900 meters we slip over our wind jackets. We do not know any more how long it goes down. It follows a downhill drive we absolutely never again forget. It goes with light slope for 17 kilometres down. 17 kilometres is for a cyclist without electric impulse a divine present, however, also for us such a long downhill drive is an unusual gift. Reaching the end of the mountain we are asking ourselves why we did not remember this great downhill ride from last time. Then we remember, the huge headwind and that we had even to use our pedals downhill.

Since we left the town Gusinoozyorsk and the so named “goose's lake” behind us there is hardly traffic. The driving by the beautiful scenery has become an absolute pleasure. We leave the place Novoselenginsk behind us and remember that we had to overcome many kilometres coarse grit in this area in the year 2009. We had a bad flat tyre and because of a running out visa we had to make big distances which went well over our forces. It is crazy. One can travel around the same distance under similar conditions and experiences absolutely different stories. We are glad to come through this time so well. Then we cross the Selenge river which arises in Mongolia. With 1024 km it is the longest and richest water inflow of the lake Baikal in Russia.

At a small street restaurant we ask for the next possibility for lodging. There is the next overnight stay possibility in the city of Kjachta the landlady says. If we like to reach Kjachta we had to go today further 130 kilometres. This becomes hard and I believe our accumulators will not last this distance. I ask the owner of the restaurant if we could use her socket to load our accumulators. "Moschna", (you can) was her answer. For even out we order our meals at her restaurant.

In the late afternoon we have one and a half accumulators driven empty. The constant mountains more than 800-metre-high are enormously hungry for energy. In a small village we find an even smaller store in there hardly is something to shop. Tanja buys a five litre water container. We distribute the valuable liquid to our drinking backpacks.

We should have put our two accumulators to the loading batteries, I consider shortly before going on. „Why? Do you think we do not make it with our accumulators to Kjachta?“ „Becomes scarce. We should use the remaining sunlight and hang immediately the accumulators on the solar cells“, I decide. We keep on riding our bikes. Meanwhile we left about 80 km mountain landscape behind us. Once again dog-tired my concentration decreases. Our looks stick on the torn open asphalt with his countless holes and ground waves.

Immediately after we left the little village with the small wooden houses behind us, we started to look for a camp place. After five kilometre I find a promising forest area. We put the bikes on the stand and during my both guard everything I go with a big bump in my upper thighs and scan every metre to find a good camp spot for us. Because I do not want to leave tracks I walk beside the way leading in the taiga. Then I discover about 100 metres of the road a clearing. Suddenly something moves. As to ice numbly I pause and look in the direction. There was something, one moment later it moves again. It is big and black. My first thought is a bear. For a moment my breath remains. A horse? Is it a horse? Suddenly the black stallion has discovered me. He tears his head in my direction. Then the proud animal with blowing mane gallops in the undergrowth and has disappeared. „A good place“, I say quietly and run back fast to Tanja.

We wait for the moment when no car or truck drives past, then we push so fast as possibly our bikes in the forest and have disappeared from the road. „And do you like the place?“, I ask happy to have discovered an idyllic spot for us. "Fantastic", answers Tanja with relieved laughter. We clean the ground of the spruce cones and establish our wonderful tent.

The live reporting is supported by the firms Gesat GmbH: www.gesat.com and roda computer Ltd www.roda-computer.com The satellite phone Explorer 300 from Gesat and the rugged notebook Pegasus RP9 from Roda are the supporting columns of the transmission.

Day: 27

Country:
Russia / Sibiria

Camp:          
Taiga Camp

Latitude N:
50°37'57.0’’

Longitude E:
106°27'39.3’’

Daily kilometer:
85

Total kilometer:
8.254

Average speed:
20 km/h

Ground quality:
bad asphalt

Maximum height:
900 meter

Sunrise:
05:09 a.m.

Sunset:
08:51 p.m.

Temperature day max:
30 °C

Depature time:
08:00 a.m.

Arrival time:
05:00 p.m.

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