A head-spinner over the horizon… Power and excess, invisible forces and symbols galvanise these stretches of wilderness.
A horizontal symphony of emotions...
Observers are seized by the sense of power and solitude radiating from these great spaces situated between the two colossal countries that are China and Russia.
Under the eternal blue sky and over the ocean of grass, we wind our way for hours. Miles and time seem to turn into thin air. The expression "up hill and down dale" comes into its own here. Eagles circle overhead while vultures busy themselves with a carcass. The engines purr with pleasure over this infinite journey. On top of a hill, the landscape changes dramatically over a long valley where hundreds of long-haired yaks graze, tranquil and unflappable. It's magical...
Overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, we feel as though we're riding without actually moving. Rivers, green stretches, volcanoes, huge lakes, waterfalls, deep rifts and dunes slowly pass before our eyes: it's like a trip through the changing seasons!
The route in this extraordinary place is mainly on tiny tracks, allowing us to venture more deeply into this mighty wilderness. In this country where the seasons can sometimes pass by in a matter of hours, the intensity of your experiences will stay with you forever!
Your day by day program
Daylight breaks as we fly over Russia. The plane tears through the blue sky... Bombarded by the onslaught of early morning rays, gilded, mirror-like Lake Baikal gleams under our wings. Burning rays shine brightly as far as the clouds. The altimeter drops. Cruising, the plane now teases the never-ending peaks. In this ocean of green, a few furtive yurts seem to appear like rafts gone adrift.
We land in Ulan Bator.
Lost in thought over the steppes to come, we eat a hearty breakfast. Everyone is chomping at the bit... Motorcycles at the ready. As soon as we leave the capital, we find ourselves engulfed in grassy expanses. We take it easy over the first hundred kilometres of sometimes broken and hazardous tarmac. The adjacent pastures seem more welcoming, but be careful as the road is teeming with sneaky gullies. Be wary!
We approach the province of Arkhangai. The mountain gradually devours the plains. The altitude increases as we reach more tortuous landscapes. Overnight in a bivouac shelter.
A succession of volcanoes, some of which are more than two thousand metres high, signal our arrival at Khorgo National Park. The village nestles in the Khangai mountains. The route darts between the meandering crystal-clear rivers full of fish, carves through the basalt walls and skirts round a lava flow. Idyllic lodgings on the banks of the Great White Lake. With everything illuminated, the surrounding landscape flutters in a surreal clarity... At the top of the next mountain, the scenery is magical. The setting sun revives a crater, turning it the colour of flushed lips, and sets the ripples of the lake ablaze up as far as the horizon. Above its waters rich in taimen and pike, colonies of wild geese and swans start up their very own ballet.
Overnight in yurts.
This day is a resting day, we check the vehicles and relax under the shadow of the volcano.
The birds are chirping. The day dawns. The chimneys on our felt and wood dwellings are gently smoking. The panorama is dazzling. Everyone has breakfast in silence, gazing in awe at this mighty landscape surrounding us. These images will stay with us forever. After a short distance along the flanks of the volcano with its slopes dotted with caves and grottos, this mystical landmark of the region heralds a new precipitous stage... The route curves between mountains whose streams
feed many of the fords with their often tricky crossings.
Overnight in yurts.
We reach the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire. Flowers cover these idyllic hills like a blanket. The path twists and turns as it leads from one valley to the next. In this part of the world, in all its magnificence and supremacy, coming across other human beings is in itself quite an event. Fittingly, three young horse riders come out of nowhere and invite us to a friendly race. Overnight in yurts.
We leave Karakorum and its unlikely and fallen fortified city in the middle of the steppe. Further on, the Orkhon Valley is broken up into deep rifts and the route follows the sinuous course of its tumultuous river. The landscape continues to astound, with marshland followed by an amazing expanse of dunes.
Overnight in yurts.
Everyone revels in the sense of freedom across these
inordinate expanses. Coming over the last hill, the capital suddenly emerges.
Accommodation at the Hotel Bayangol or equivalent.
- On this trip, we clearly privilige a total in-land immersion. Therefore, there are two nights in genuine camps in the very heart of the immense expanses of land. The provided infrastructure allows an unexpected comfort level. There are also some nights in Yurts. They are comfortable and spacious, with heating and most of the time electric power.
The first and the last nights are spent in a good hotel.
- Who can take part?
This trip mainly consists of small tracks, but certain off-trail stretches can present a few surprises, such as marmot holes or ravines. Also, climate changes are frequent. Somebody with minimum off-road experience will be more at ease on this wonderful journey.
- A Trail Rando guide will supervise the team on board their own vehicle.
At the same time, a chase vehicle will transport your luggage between stages every day. They will travel by road with regular meeting points along the route.
They can also pick up a rider and vehicle in the event of breakdown or exhaustion. The team also has a basic first aid kit, tools, some spare parts and is able to lend a hand if required.
- PROGRESS ALONG THE ROUTE
There's a definite feeling of freedom about this trip. And to preserve the spirit of exploration and discovery that we wanted to create, we've put you in control.
For this reason, and so that everyone truly plays a part in their own journey, we provide an uploadable GPS file with the entire itinerary.
This technology allows you to be totally independent.
With the wonderful tool that is GPS, everyone has the freedom to go on ahead, to be carried along by their artistic inspirations, or to stay with their friends, knowing that as a general rule the Trail Rando motorcycle guide will be looking out for the team at the rear.
What a pleasure it is to follow your own course!
“Free people in a structured group” is the motto that accurately reflects the reality of a Trail Rando trip.
A GPS IS MANDATORY
The route is safely stored stage by stage on the GPS...
At the start of the trip, Trail Rando provides everyone with an uploadable GARMIN GPS file with the entire itinerary, including information such as points of interest, petrol stations, lunch meeting points and accommodation.
If you do not own an adequate GPS device, Trail Rando can rent you one.
- GPS - rental : 60€
- 4x4 without driver : 1390.00€
- • Lodgingo hotels, in twin rooms, camps or yurtso from the evening of the first day, to the morning of the last day
Food :o Breakfast, lunch, dinnero from the morning of the first day to the evening of the last day,• The GPS device with the trip's complete track,
• The matresses and tents for the camps,• Tourleaders :o Tourleader on his motorcycle,o Support vehicle for luggage transport
o Rental motorcycle
o Fuel for the motorcycle
- • Transportation :o To and from tour start,o Vehicle transportation to and from tour start,
o Visa fees• Beverages
Provided vehiclesYamaha WR250R: real off-road machines, powerful enough to tackle in the immensity of the mongolian plains, fairly comfortable and versatile.