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Monguni, Day 10: To Kharkorum 31km

We took our time enjoying the final ride of the tour, with plenty of rest and photostops. This was one of the most scenic rides, as we follow a ridgeline dotted with monolithic granite formations jutting out of the grassland steppe.

After a steep hairy descent to the valley, we cruised along the sandy trail to Kharkorum, punctuated by curses and exclamations of ‘Wargh!’ as deep patches of sand swallowed up our wheels.

The final hill of the day saw us looking down onto Kharkorum, the ancient capital of Genghis Khan. Today, it is a somewhat bleak shadow of its former self, although we visited a very impressive Genghis monument before descending into the town. Its rough unpaved streets and fenced off houses and Gers and various Soviet influenced buildings made it hard to believe it was once the administration centre for the biggest land empire in history.

We finished our ride on yet another rocky riverbed, and pitched out tents by the river.

A quick visit to the ‘Erdenne Zuu’ monastary- the oldest Buddhist monastery in Mongolia, was followed by the local store for Ice-Cream and Beer to celebrate!

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