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In the centre of the hell


Since 8:00 clock we are back on the partly coarse asphalt. The traffic has strongly increased. About midday we reach the big Ovol (Sacrificial place) on top of the hill before Ulan Bator. As the custom requires we walk around three times and wish for a save journey through the metropolis with the mad and aggressive traffic. We pass the big toll station in that every driver for the use of the often bad roads must pay. We are friendly waved through. In the outskirts we hit on a monastery and a big Buddha's statue. We stay for some time and continue our journey with glad courage. Then here she is, the manifested ugliness of a dusty, continually spreading out city which originated in 1649 under the name Urga round a monastery. From 1778 on it was the constant seat of the head of the Lamaismus in Mongolia. Today's Ulan Bator is a town which has come to the sad fame to own in winter worldwide with the dirtiest and most toxic air of all cities. Here people die by the dozen as a result of the bad air. Even it is summer and the surrounding households do not have to heat, smog lies about the metropolis. Monstrous power stations spit out badly looking smoke which lies down like a suffocating cover on all houses, buildings and streets. Even we have been here during the last years already a few times I am horrified over and over again by the sight of the political and cultural centre of Mongolia. Since 1996 when we were the first time here the forgotten small once sleepy town has developed to a stinking, hectic industrial location in which nearly all exhaust gases are blown unfiltered in the atmosphere and in the lungs of the people and the sewage is pumped into the river Tuul. In this manner the river Tuul gets the tenfold of the allowed pollutant amount and contaminates the drinking water of the back country.

We drive with approx. 25 km/h over the four-lane road. The traffic rushes past us in high speed and whirls up continually dust. Already after a short time the exhaust gases complicate our breathing. Most drivers treat us well. But still I must say they have a driving style that even an old pig would feel sick. Above all we are surprised about the recklessness. Two-lane streets are explained to three-lane streets. Nobody grants to the other only one centimetre of advantage. One driver shows his pity, brakes and waves us through. At a crossroad a policeman with unceasing trilling and stick waving tries to control the rolling metal heaps. Luckily we are not during rush hour on the move through this insanity, because this would be comparable with Russian roulette. Finally we reach safely the centre of the traffic hell. „Where is Ganas Guesthouse?“ we ask at the ticket shop of the Gandan monastery. Quick we are surrounded by people, forming a circle, so that breathing in the heat even heavier becomes. One of the men will lead us there. When we stand before a dilapidated, red metal fence, we thank the man. Ganas Guesthouse is written about the entrance. A woman opens a ramshackle also red metal gate for us. We push our E bikes in. The gate has hardly shut under loud squeak behind us, we are glad to have found a safe nest in the middle of the insanity of an awful city. Od, the young owner, shows us our Yurt. We had already booked some days ago by telephone. Indeed, here are standing real Mongolian Yurts on the roof of a building and hatch in the bulging sun in the middle of Ulan Bator. Although it is very warm inside, I feel, in recollection of our 7 month winter stay with the reindeer nomads, immediately at home. Meanwhile our bikes and trailers find a chill and safe place in the ground floor. We are staying here in Ulan Bator the next days to prepare for the coming trip to China.

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




Ulan Bator

Latitude N:

Longitude E:

Daily kilometer:
61 km

Total kilometer:
8.563 km

The crow:
49 km

Average speed:
20.1 km/h

Maximum speed:
41 km/h

Driving time:
3:00 hours

Ground quality:

Maximum height:
1.600 metre

06:38 a.m.

09:17 p.m.

Temperature day max:
53 °C in sun

Temperature night:
10 °C

Depature time:
8:00 a.m.

Arrival time:
01:00 p.m.

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