On June 16th of 2008 I embarked on an amazing adventure that saw me and a group of other avid adventurers, cycling across the Arkhangai mountain ranges, located about 800 kilometers from UllanBaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Aside from riding more then 400 kilometers on a mountain bike over a variety of mountainous terrain at altitude of 2000 to 3000 meters, with snow caps above us and despite it being summer time, I got to meet the amazing people of Mongolia, experiencing their warmth, hospitality and openness.It was also my privilege to encounter the wonderful Mongolian children, some of them in the Christina Noble Children's Foundation Orphanage ( http://www.cncf.org )and others in the wilderness of the plains and mountain valleys. This journey was an experience that was a culmination of two dreams.
First, to visit the wilderness of Mongolia and meet the nomad people, something that has been on my mind since my early age, when I sat transfixed, listening to the stories of the great Ghengis Khan, a man some chose to only remember for only his ruthlessness and deadly efficiency, with others attributing such lofty titles as the father of modern globalization. With the second, a desire to experience remote travel by the means of a mountain bike, something that has niggled at me as far back as I can recall.
This trip not only brought both of my above-mentioned dreams together, but also exceeded my expectations. It would by hard to single out what I enjoyed the most in any particular order, after all the cycling was awesome, the landscape stunning, the crew fabulous and the other riders engaging and friendly. However, had I just to just pick one thing, that which stood out, making this experience even more special... that would have to be the people of Mongolia.
Living in their harsh and remote nomadic conditions, often with limited means, I could feel a prevailing sense of warmth, openness and sharing with no expectations. More often then not, on their weather worn faces, the Mongols reminded me of young children, devoid of any pretense, or as the saying goes, wearing their hearts on their shoulders. No doors were closed and no meals unshared, a refreshing alternative to the way people treat one another in the western world. The people of this country have made a lasting impression on me, one I'm unlikely to forget in this lifetime.
The following are some of my selected images of my Mongolian Adventure: