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132 kilometres of heat, headwind and no human settlement


At 7:30 o'clock we get up still tired. Best we would like to rest here one day, however, it makes no sense here with the room temperatures. Above all we do not know whether we will create it to the city Saischand with our accumulators. If we should remain lying on the distance, we must load with our solar panels the accumulators and this can cost us two days. And because of our visa situation we do not want to loose any time. But we are confidently, that we find as usual one of the street restaurants or at least a small shop to load our batteries. So we do not want to make the horses shy only because a possibility insists this time we are maybe not having a loading possibility.At 9:30 o'clock we sit on our bikes. Today with 31 °C in the shade the desert wind positions itself against us with a strength between three and four. The first kilometres we drive with cloudless sky slightly hilly, then the Gobi becomes flat, partly stony and the steppe grass has dried up from the sun and the hot wind. As well as during the past days cross camel and horse herds the street. Sometimes they are driven by the nomads. Not any more like few years ago still with the horse, but often by the motorbike. The romantic pictures of these people are expelled by the modern age more and more. The trans-Mongolian railway still accompanies us and quite a lot of train drivers welcome us with the loud horn which urgent tone above the steppe roars.Even we save energy and go only in the “tour mode”, step two from four possible ones, we make relatively good distance. Tanja cycles close behind me in the wind shelter what brings her some kilometres reach in addition. After 30 km accumulator 1 is empty. After 60 km the 2nd accumulator is empty. Because of our stomach problems and the sleeping lack we are tired and after three hours cycling against the wind we have a break. Thirsty we drink the delightful and for our survival necessary water from our drinking bags. Our stock goes rapidly down. Good is the fact that we have taken enough of it. Above all if we need to camp in the steppe. We sit down in the scanty shade of our bikes and eat some muesli bars. Before it goes further I search with the binoculars the horizon. Maybe I can see some houses? However, nothing is to be discovered except desert, sand and steppe. Also on the further distance appears no street restaurant or a small settlement where we could load our accumulators. Vehicles go past only very seldom. The wind carries the decay stench of the dead animals lying at the street edge to us. They remind us without fail of the death and at the fact that one can die of thirst here easily. Who would have thought that there are very sudden no more settlements, and this in the desert Gobi. A breakdown would bring us in big difficulties. I pray not to get flat tyres here. This would be a small disaster. Yesterday one of the gas station attendants had said that at the latest 26 kilometres after the place Khar-Airag a lodging comes. Why the man tells such a thing? No idea, on our trips we already had more often the experience that locals feed us misinformation. Maybe people simply don’t know the own area. So I am not surprised since 80 km now nothing else except desert to see. After 90 km accumulator 3 is empty. We take the from the GoalZero about Solar loaded accumulator 4 which, as already described, because of the low capacity of the small GoalZero battery, at most with 20 km of reach can be loaded. Because Tanja drives the whole time in my slipstream and her trailer is lighter about approx. 30 kilogrammes, she gets approx. 10 percent more distance from her battery. Nevertheless, we exchange every time also her battery if mine is empty. Then I will use the rest energy of her accumulators if all mine are empty. To save even more energy we go from now on only in “eco” or “tour” mode. We discuss whether it makes sense to drive to one of the remote small railway stations of the trans-Mongolian railway. However, we would have to bump for this over some kilometre about coarse mucky runways and grit runways to the railway line without knowing whether there is somebody in this small houses which are sometimes to be seen from the street. If not, we stuck in the middle of nowhere without owning the possibility being able to stop one of a few cars if necessary. My today's calculated reach lies approx. 110 km. Our goal today, the city of Sainschan, might be about 130 km. „How much is still in your accumulator?“, asks Tanja at kilometre 109. „Nearly empty“, I answer. After a little while I use one of Tanjas accumulators which gives according to my display approx. another 9 km. Although it becomes meanwhile scarce, we still remain confidently we make it till the city. We reach a mighty column curve established of concrete which arches like a historical Greek building over the street. It announces the province of Dornogov which lies in the southeast of Mongolia and borders directly to China.„Let us have a short break“, I say. „We reach the town“, Tanja is glad because the column passageway built on a hill releases the look at buildings about five kilometres away.We reach the place which we can see from here on top definitely“, I answer on which we allow to roll our bikes against the wild wind down. However, we have mistaken the distance, because the houses want and do not want to get closer. Now all my batteries are empty. I put Tanjas accumulator number 3 in. Its reach is given in the display with still five kilometres. Because before us a long pulled hill lies, Tanja would like to go on during the accumulator exchange. „I want to lose no energy by a stop!“, she calls to me. However, for any reason she stops 50 metres farther. Luckily, because according to a street sign we must leave the main street and turn right. This she would have overlooked and I could not have gone behind her because of energy lack to point it out for her. „How far do you still come?“, I ask. „Seven km and you?“ „Five km.“ We ask a driver as far still it is to Sainschand. „Still 1 kilometre“, he answers making a photo from us. „Hurray! Really!“, we are glad and best I would like to use my rest energie in “turbo” modus. After two km no town is still by view. After three km still not. Other drivers, we stop, speak once more of only 1 kilometre. And, finally, after five km we reach the local sign of the town. „We made it!“, shouts Tanja happily. „Fantastically!“, I divide her joy.

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.

02.09.2015 and 03.09.2015

66 - 67



Latitude N:

Longitude E:

Daily kilometer:

Total kilometer:

The crow:

Average speed:
24.2 km/h

Maximum speed:
35 km/h

Driving time:

Ground quality:
Asphalt very good

Maximum height:
1.100 m

Complete height meter since tour start:
3.697 m

Height meter of the day:

07:02 a.m.

07:16 p.m.

Temperature day max:
31 °C

Temperature night:
10 °C

Depature time:
9:30 a.m.

Arrival time:
06:00 p.m.

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