Having made it to Kharkhorin and had a look round the Erd Zuu monastery, I was looking forward to beginning the off-road adventures through Mongolia. Alas, progress has been made and the tarmac extended for a couple more days’ ride… I lingered longer than anticipated in Tsetserleg as their Naadam festival was just beginning. So I watched the ceremonies and archery and wrestling in the good company of a Scot, and some mates on motorbikes, who happened to recognise me from the Hubb UK event I was at earlier in the year (small world). And the British banter was a good remedy for nurturing my suffering sanity back to normal on the Mongolian steppe.

From there the hills, hard rain and head winds began. But so did the dirt roads and wonderful wild-camping – and that more than made up for it…