But, the time came and it was our cue to leave. It was onto the next carefully planned stop, deeper into the central part of the country, towards Kharkhorin, where the old capital city of Chinggis Khaan's time, Karakorum, is found.At this point in the article, it's time for me to point out other important things to know before you motorcycle across Mongolia:
Bring a way to purify water. We relied on our Grayl Geopress
portable purifiers, as we mostly do on these adventures (read my full review here
). Purifying water across the steppe is crucial to survival and I can't recommend another piece of equipment more than this little guy.
Wear your helmet at all times. Trust me on this one. Accidents happen all too easy and there aren't many reliable medical facilities outside of Ulaanbaatar. And it's a long ride back. Our Nexx Helmets
saved our necks, quite literally.
Learn the basics of Mongolian culture before you go. Know how to say hello (sain baina uu!), thank you (bayarlalaa), excuse me (uuchlaarai) and the rituals for being in a ger (always enter to the left, don't stand in the doorway, if you hit your head going in or out, don't be embarrassed - it's good luck!).
Never refuse food from your host, but never underestimate the power of a hidden snack. You stomach might take a minute to get used to the food, so bring snacks. Oatmeal, dried fruits, nuts and granola bars are easy to travel with. Start there.
A Garmin inReach Mini could save you A LOT of frustration. Even if you get a local SIM card, service isn't always reliable. Be prepared with maps, satellite GPS trackers and all the supplies you need. This isn't the place to be unprepared.