Travellers' Tales: Touring Mongolia

Travellers' Tales: Touring Mongolia

John and Pat Ashwell of CTC Cycling Holidays led a tour of Mongolia

Mongolia is the size of Western Europe but has the population of Manchester. It is the last undisturbed grassland on the planet. Nomads have moved home and herds in rhythm with the seasons here for over 1,000 years, laying down a network of migratory trails that beg to be cycled.

Getting to the start was an adventure in itself."

John and Pat Ashwell

You could you ride for 3,000km without crossing a surfaced road or skirting a fence, passing through a great diversity of landscapes: pure desert, arid steppe, river valleys, mountains and grasslands.

The logistics of such a journey are eased by the hospitality that is embedded in the nomadic culture. Wherever there is a ger (better known in the UK as a yurt), there is guaranteed hospitality.

We started deep in the Gobi desert and finished in Mongolia’s spiritual centre, Karakorum. Getting to the start was an adventure in itself. We flew in a small aircraft to an unfenced airstrip in the Gobi. The bikes were transported ahead by road and track.

Wild camping and overnighting in the occasional ger camp, we rode the Gobi on hard-packed gravel, walked up and scrambled down passes in the Khangai Mountains, followed trails through the grasslands, waded through several rivers, and arrived exhilarated in Karakorum in time to experience the Nadaam festival.

For more, visit comebiking.com or cyclingholidays.org.uk.

Do you have a travelling adventure you would like to share? Email cyclinguk@jppublishing.co.uk for advice on what's required.

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Membership gives you peace of mind insurance, discounts in cycle shops, rides & routes