This is the travelblog of Cyril Ducau and Niccolo Manno on their adventure from London (Cyril), Munich (Niccolo) to Hong Kong on motorbikes.
It took us short of 3 months to do 20,000km on bikes, trains and planes. We crossed the following countries together:

Austria - Italy - Slovenia - Croatia - Serbia - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Azerbaijan - Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan - Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan - Russia - Mongolia - China - Hong Kong

On this site you will find some info on both of us, our bikes, some of our friendly helpers in Hong Kong and London and loads of pictures on our trip. 

Latest top picture

Latest top picture
Thanks for watching our blog - Enjoy as we did it!

Our path

Our path
Click picture to download Google Earth kmz file !

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mongolian dreams and nightmares







The last few days have been very intense in emotions. While, we are cleary living a dream and enjoying every second of the amazing Mongolian scenery, the riding has been particularily challenging on both the riders and the machines...


We spent the last 4 days travelling from Ulaangom to Tosontsegel in Central Mongolian on a mix of dirt roads, sandy tracks and pure off-road, getting lost many times and fully relying on our GPS for the proper directions. The landscapes are simply breathtaking and we hope to be able to download more pictures soon.


Yesterday was my worst day (by far...) since the beginning of the trip. It all started with my engine not running very smoothly and delivering very little power at low revs. As a result the first steep climb in the mud was simply hell with the bike not even able to start on 1st gear. On a fall, I completely destroyed the protection underneath the bike leaving the engine completely exposed to any hit. A few kms further the front brakes got completely stuck and we had to dismount both brakes pistons at 2000m high. A few kms further... the engine just stopped ! We dismounted the entire engine on the side the road to get access to the carburators, clean them, clean the air filter, the spark pluggs... without success. Niccolo had to go on his own (for the first time since the beginning of the trip) to get some help and found a bunch of very helpfull Mongolians and a old Russian jeep... After many miscommunication and iterations, we loaded the bike in the jeep, removing the jeep seats in the process.


We got to the nearest town (more a few houses/yurts stacked together) and got told that it the nearest decent mechanic was 700km away in UlaanBaatar... and the transport would cost about USD500. Moral was at its lowest and on that note, we decided to take the bike all apart and try everything possible to get it fixed. We spare you the details but it seems that it was due to the very bad petrol quality and changing the air/petrol mix did the trick so far (engine not running very smoothly still...). Thanks to Nicco for the patience and the technical support.


After a snow storm yesterday evening, and a night inbetween a snoring Mongolian and ... couple (no privacy here in the yurts), today was simply beautifull with greatest sunshine, blue sky and superb scenery.


We will keep going east over the next few days and hope to reach UlaanBaatar in about a week. By the way, so far, we have not found any shower facility in the country... but we keep asking !


Now it's my turn (Nicco)...For me it was an excellent time even though we had these tensions and problems with the bike. My bike (Fat Bertha) behaves so well for the moment even though I mistreat her badly by throwing her around big time and she still likes me somehow...

The last few days have been what this trip was about, a real adventure! With the technical problem solving, the off-road riding, the GPS navigation, the personal tension sometimes, but in the end we have come so far and this is a testiment of the great team we are..hehe, a bit of self motivation.

We have both learnt so much in the last few days and these are the experiences we were looking forward to. Let's hope both our bikes keep up to the mistreatement and we arrive safly back on tarmac (near Ulaanbaatar).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Et encore... heureusement que t'avais pas la Ducati!!!

lordmaciek said...

Great you have managed to solve the bike problem! Good job! You have definitly choosen the hc weather time.

mac from motosyberia.com

M Colebatch said...

bonjour gentlemen ... I left a PM for you on HUBB. CHeck your message box there.

Enjoying the reading

Ciao

A BIG THANK YOU TO:

Cyril:
- Maddy, the head of our "London HQ", special technical and weather advisor, and because she is simply the best and has been so supportive over the last few months
- My family and friends for their understanding and moral support
- Robert Roe (alias Bob) from Motoselect Franham for preparing the bike with such good care
- Anastasia from thevisacompany for helping me deal with so much red tape
- Claudio von Planta for sharing his valuable experience on Long-way Round and Long-way Down and answering so many of our questions
- Ronnie, Emmanuel and Benjamin for their enthusiast support and precious advise
- The Techtransalp team for their excellent website and advertising our adventure

Niccolo:
- clearly Manon as she has always been supportive of this trip even though this means 3 months without me
- My mother for not giving up on me, for receiving all the parcels at home in Austria and for not freaking out!
- Amy and Steve for pushing over several months to keep focus on the organisation
- Xavier, for trusting me to be in France in June and be his best man at his wedding
- Cyril, for posting our tracks on the blog
- Louis, for looking into getting Continental to sponsor us
- Romain, for getting us the Turkmen visas
- My friends for all telling me "DO IT"!
- Claudio von Planta, Sambor and Maciej for sharing their great experiences on their numerous motorbike trips
- Henry, Yau and Tan from BMW HK for their support with the bike, the preparation and the bike sale
- Yasser, Mark, Michael and Christoph from BMW Munich for their help with all the accessories and the last minute bike purchase
- Bertrand and Alice for your help with the tyres in Almaty