Sat in the middle of a desert wilderness just two weeks ago – awaiting the support crew with a new tyre for a colleague’s stricken GS (gotta slow for those rocks, eh?) – was a wonderful time. Under a clear blue sky and with a temperature over 30º, I was reclining in the one bit of shade I could find, under my own GS.
There was the enormity of the desert all around me, not entirely barren, but sparse. Landscape that humbles you, makes you aware of your food and water supplies – and distance from any kind of help (a sat phone, GPS and support crew being very helpful at times like this).
Then there was the wind. The desert wind – here at least – is unique as it blows from all directions all the time, switching as if on a whim, second by second. Sometimes it whips up a dust devil, just for fun it seems. And then in the next moment it disappears completely. Then you get silence. Profound silence.
Riders from 21 nations. Russia to the USA, UK to Argentina, China to India, Korea to Colombia. All getting along very nicely. Sharing. Laughing. Helping. Exploring. As BMW once said: one world (one GS).
One road sign (no road). One vodka bottle (empty).
Ahh, the Uaz-452, aka the Bukhana (meaning ‘loaf’ as in bread, because it looks like a loaf on wheels). Keeping Russians and the rest of the former (far) Eastern Bloc moving since 1965. And in 2018, keeping the BMW GS Trophy moving too…
The hold up
When the Mongolian official says, “You shall not pass”. A Foot and Mouth outbreak forced a re-route, but as ever with adventure it’s the unexpected that leads to the interesting discoveries. On this occasion a chance to check out a 17th century Buddhist monastery (plus a bundle of 21st century grocery stores…).
A kid and his horse
These two must have been born together as the kid’s horsemanship was virtually telepathic. If only I could ride a moto so naturally.
If I run away one day, you’ll find me here. If no one is in it’s because I’ll be making the 160km round trip to the nearest grocery store.