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Standard Rubbish Collection - Ulaanbaatar

Standard Rubbish Collection - Ulaanbaatar

After our mission getting to Ulaanbaatar with one broken bike and one grumpy driver it was time to find a Hotel. Heather took the task on and found a place which was cheap, we didn’t know how long it would take to find and fix the bizarre problems facing Heathers bike. We decided it was time to get out and get some good food… Mongolian BBQ it was then… After our first proper meal in weeks we hit the sack.. only to find out why our hotel was so cheap.. it was also a Karaoke bar… bugger Mongolians singing until 2 am… oh well we slept anyway through sheer exhaustion. The next day we woke with the plan of trying to compare the cost of fixing the bike in Mongolia vs shipping the bike directly to Australia and changing our route so that instead of going via Brisbane we would travel via Perth… After hunting around for anyone that knew about motorcycle electrics and searching the internet for any information we started looking for companies that could freight the bikes to Perth.. It turns out that in Mongolia all we found out was that they could only ship items up to 88cm in height or you had to have a complete 20ft container… seems logical to us… NOT!! you can’t even but a part of a container you have to have the whole bloody thing… I guess we could have used the remainder of the container to ship home 20 yurts… or maybe that was just a bad dream.. All of the Mongolians we dealt with seemed to be anything but helpful in trying to find a solution to our problem. Most of them just wanted to buy the bikes or would go out of their way to be a pain in the arse.. It seems that they don’t want to be paid for anything that would require them to do any work.. but they are more than happy to take your money for nothing. Its a shame because most of the Mongolians we had met that didn’t work in shipping seemed to be friendly and helpful.

Gardening in Ulaanbaatar seems to consist of burning everything

Gardening in Ulaanbaatar seems to consist of burning everything

On the walk back to the Hotel we came across a BMW Dealership.. they didn’t do any bikes but they at least had experience at BMW Cars… they told us to bring the bike into them the next day and they would have a look at it.. whoooo hoooo hopefully this would be the answer to our problems.

So the next morning we pushed the bike the 3km to the dealership during peak hour traffic… talk about hard work. I was still feeling a little dodgy and pretty weak from the virus.. After putting the bike into the dealership we went back to the Internet to sort out a possible alternative if we couldn’t get the bike fixed and to see what other peoples recommended solutions were. It turns out we had had numerous posts in response to our questions on the internet.. most of them pointed to the same parts that the BMW dealership said would probably be the problem.. It was time to go back to the Dealership and see if they had any possible answers. Turns out the battery and voltage regulator had become broken. There was also a short but we couldn’t diagnose the short until we had a reliable power source. We told them to order the parts and we went out the celebrate.. we had a few drinks and retired to the karaoke hotel….

The next day I was feeling rough.. I think that the virus that I had got in Olgii was back with full force.. there was no time to waste we went back to the dealership to make sure the parts got ordered. It turned out that the parts didn’t get ordered and that the prices and delivery times came out to being outrageous.. we ordered the parts ourselves from the UK and DHL’d them to Ulaanbaatar and it was cheaper than just the battery in Mongolia from the BMW dealership. It was now Thursday so we had 4-5 days to wait until the parts arrived because of the weekend. It was time to relax and take in the city while we had little else to do. We went out to dinner on Saturday and had a bottle of wine to celebrate the parts being on their way. We could track the package and knew that it was in Korea and the next flight was the following morning… we should have them first thing Monday.. YAY..

By this time I was starting to spend more time on the toilet than I was anywhere else.. My weight had fallen significantly and I was generally feeling very weak. The virus that I had gotten seemed to be winning… I was now not only on the loo but also vomiting which was really bad as it meant I couldn’t eat anything at all.. I had to go to Hospital.. Monday morning it was time to go down to the Hospital.. Knowing that the hospitals had such a good reputation in Mongolia we went to a Korean university Hospital.. I got rushed onto a drip to rehydrate.. but this was only after we struggled to find out how the hell their system worked as nobody seemed to speak English and we didn’t speak enough Russian, Korean or Mongolian. In Mongolia there is no concept of queuing.. so when you match that with Hospitals you really find chaos. People walking in on other people during examinations of areas that most people find private etc etc.. anyway the overall service from the hospital was fantastic. After being rehydrated I had to come back the next day for further examinations… now it was time to track the packages as the online tracking had said that the packages had arrived in Mongolia on the weekend so we must have got them.. we went to the Dealership to tell them the packages should arrive that day.. we then went back to the internet to check on the progress of our other stuff.. It turns out that customs in Mongolia is the biggest scam you have ever heard, they wouldn’t release the packages until we had paid TAX on the SHIPPING of the goods and they don’t provide any way to claim it back if your taking the goods back out of the country immediately. After paying $50US in tax we felt completely frustrated and it still took us until Wednesday night to get the package. All in all our experience of Mongolian customs leaves a hell of a lot to be desired. I went back to Hospital on Tuesday and had a battery of tests done including the joy of swallowing a camera so that they could see what was going on in my stomach… ouch! It was not a nice experience. Anyway the basic story Is that they came back and said that I had something I can’t spell so I can’t put it on.. they have given me enough medicine so that I can get back to Australia and see another specialist.. I can’t drink, cant eat spicy food, can’t eat sweet stuff.. dammit what is there worth living for…

Anyway its now Thursday and the parts have been delivered to the dealership so that they can fit them. It was now all sorted and we could kick the bike over.. Unfortunately the bike was still starting even when the ignition was off.. there was still an earth somewhere that had to be found.. it wasn’t until Friday night that they found the problem. Yet again the DATATOOL alarm had fucked up and was earthing the ignition causing the bike to start. That was the third problem we had with the alarm since the start of the trip. On Saturday morning I got dressed up ready to go down and pickup the bike. When I arrived the bike had leaked oil all over the floor of the dealership. One of the Gaskets had blown. I needed to go back to the Hotel room and get the computer so we could confirm that there was no other issue. When I arrived back we didn’t have enough Oil to refill the bike so we had to go and find more bike oil.. after being driven around Ulaanbaatar for about 2 hours we went back to the hotel and took the bike oil that I had bought so that I could service my bike and took it for Heathers… after arriving back we put the oil in the bike and went for a ride.. everything was going well.. when I got back to the dealership I stopped the Bike then it wouldn’t start again. The bikes battery voltage had dropped. The new battery was busted.. bugger now we had to find a new battery in Ulaanbaatar so that we could leave before our Mongolian visa expired in two days… after rushing around we found a dodgy Chinese made batter which would at least work for the time being. All the guys put bets on how long the battery would last ranging from 1 month to 3 months.. the advice was to replace the batter as soon as we got to Australia.. I have to email them so that they can claim the kitty of around 50000T which is a significant amount of money. Finally the bike was now working and I could ride it back to the Hotel… Whooo hooo we went out for an early meal to celebrate and retired to the hotel early so that we could leave Ulaanbaatar by 7am. After 13 days in Ulaanbaatar it was time to leave…..

One Comment

  1. Comment by cindyhartwell:

    My gawd! James, ginger tea is really good for stomach issues, maybe start drinking it now..as for the other stuff, bloody hell, Heather’s bike seems to be a disaster magnet!!

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