The first major milestone on Barbara Kenedi and partner Peter’s bike journey around the world by has been reached. The 1190 KTM Adventure R mounted duo are in Mongolia.
After 27,000km, enriched by many experiences and adventures we have arrived in Ulaanbaatar; the capital of Mongolia. The first big milestone of our world trip. We are proud that we have managed this accident-free and we are extremely proud of our two KTM 1190 Adventure Rs that have transported us safely here. The bikes have been nothing short of ideal and perfectly matched for a round-the-world experience.
Kyrgyzstan, in central Asia, already offered a taste of Mongolia with high altitude pastures and mountain lakes. Through our journey we saw how the shepherd families build up their yurts on the summer pastures. In the National Park Sary Chelek we pitched our orange tent framed by snow-capped mountains. In bright sunshine we crossed the highest point of the tour, a treeless plateau of incredible beauty which is located 3360m above sea level and passes by Songköl lake. Afterwards we had a particularly exciting day off-roading with several river crossings as the bridges had been swept away by floods.
A cold rain stage then rinsed us all the way to Almaty in Kazakhstan: a surprisingly lively, very European-looking green city between the mountains and the plains. For a change, we were able to enjoy authentic Italian espresso at a chic café there.
The Kazakhs are known for their nomadic culture and are accordingly hospitable. In the long crossing of the Kazakh steppes to the north we were repeatedly received with friendliness and enthusiasm and entertained with horsemeat and horse milk! Also we were able to feature as ambassadors of Austrian motorcycle artistry again as Kazakh television ran a story about us, the 1190 Adventure tourers and our journey.
We took delivery of some new tyres at a local KTM dealer in Novosibirsk, Russia. On a side trip to Lake Baikal we crossed Siberia. As you can imagine there are endless forests, sandy slopes and plenty of water. We stayed in tiny wooden huts, without any comfort but with the most wonderful sauna, which is called a Banja in Russian.
In Mongolia we were able to really let off steam with the terrain. In the west of the country there are almost no paved roads. So it meant 1300km of extremely varied off-road riding on the way to the first major city! In the green grass landscapes we found plenty of wild horses and flocks of sheep and even birds of prey. The few people that you meet usually ride along on two wheels in this region.
The only excursion was a steamboat ride on the Khövskhöl lake, that was a particularly nice experience, as well as a watching a wild horse race!
Ulaanbaatar was a real contrast to the rest of the country: crowded, loud and with lots of restaurants and bars where we clinked glasses together with the KTM importer who also is a Mongol Rally Champion. Up to now we’ve had on a very successful tour. In August our trek will continue onto Australia: Perth to Sydney on the northern route.
Our record on the trip from Austria to Mongolia so far:
110 days on the road, including 20 days without riding a motorcycle
Longest stage: 720km (in Iran)
Highest point: 3365m (above sea level) of the Song Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan
Lowest point: -10m at the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan
Coldest place: +3 degrees at departure Ranshofen
Warmest Location: + 46 degrees in the Kyzylkum desert in Uzbekistan
16 countries (7 Visas)
For the bikes: 4 sets of tyres, 2.2L engine oil, oil change 1 x, 2 x rear brake pads, fuel consumption 1500L
1 Traffic Penalty: 8 euros in Kyrgyzstan
No accident & always healthy (thanks to our immune systems!)
Greetings from Mongolia
Barbara & Peter
Why the mysterious name Panini? Named after the pair’s cat that stays in good hands while the house is empty. The marathon tour titled “Around the world – Panini Moto Tour” can be followed by anyone on Facebook, by appointment. Link: http://www.facebook.com/panini.tour