Australian Motorcyclist


MONGOLIA, THE VERY word conjures up images of wild horseman galloping across an ancient empty steppe landscape, with bow and arrow in hand, which today, isn’t that far from reality in what is the most sparsely populated country on earth and where the locals still practice the three “manly” sports of horse-riding, archery & wrestling.

The plane broke through a thick blanket of cloud to reveal a worrying sight, as we made the final approach into Chinngis Khan International Airport the view out the window revealed swollen rivers, flooded roads and inundated buildings, the countryside, it seemed, had turned into a flooded quagmire. We knew we were in for the ride of a lifetime with some serious challenges, if the view from the plane predicated what lay ahead of us?

Riders had gathered in Ulaan Baatarday ride that travelled over 2500kms of stunning vistas following a circular route that took us east toward China then north to within a 100kms of Russia before riding west then due south to return to Ulaan Baatar. I was not alone in my concerns, everyone it seems was talking about the “once in a century” floods that had hit all of Mongolia, tragically, sweeping over fifty people to their deaths, swept bridges away and isolated countless remote communities across the country, even the great Gobi Desert was waterlogged.

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