Because I had in mind to do only 400 km to Khovd, there was absolutely no rush on leaving yesterdays hotel.
On a snail pace I drove towards the Russian -Mongolian border. I expected a couple of hours delay for administration.
And afterwards only 350 km to do. A piece of cake... The Russian customs administration on exit lasted 1 hour. Then a quick drive of 30 km in no mans land to Mongolia.
On arrival there I noticed that the plastic cover of my bag had flown away. The only barrier between dry and wet luggage. So I drove back to find it somewhat halfway in no mans land. A quick scream of joy and back to Mongolia! Only 15 km of track road separated me from the customs when disaster struck. Enough time lost, I did about 60 km/h on a track full of sharp rocks. There is nothing special on doing this, .....
It must have been bad luck, but in a few seconds my rear tyre ran flat..... A big cut of about 1 cm in the center of the tyre. I hardly arrived in Mongolia, for gods sake!
It took me almost 3 hours to change the tyre. Right on time, because when I finished it started snowing! Before leaving Italy, I was in doubt for a while to take with some spare inner tubes to fit into the tyres. I luckily did, and it saved my life that day.
It is important to say that without the help of this friendly local, I wouldn't have been able to do the repair.
Anyway, we are BFFL now. He looks sad because I hadn't payed him yet.
The second luck, with all my misfortune, was the fact that I met Mario and Mathias, 2 bikers doing the full circle in 5 or 6 phases.
This year was from Osh to Ulaan Bataar.
They towed me very patiently, to Ulgii about 120 km further on. Needless to say that I lost all confidence in riding track?
And I never was a big deal doing this.
That same evening I was more dead than alive.
The stress and the huge effort of changing the tyre had taken their toll.
And not to forget the fact that I already did about 7500km in 12 days, with hardly any rest.