We had not seen anyone for about an hour or so and I thought we could get stranded out here. However Buriad got out a small tool kit & proceeded to fix the bike in no time at all.
A little while after the track turned quite marshy & then all of a sudden very sandy. The weight of the two of us would stop the motorbike in its tracks. So I had the unfortunate task of walking for a while, getting back on the bike and trying to see if it would take the two of us. This was very tiring and made even more infuriating as dusk approached. The onset of the dreaded “shumuul”, mosquito starts at this time. They could smell fresh foreign blood & gorged themselves on me, no matter how hard I tried to fight them off. On the motorbike it was impossible to stop them from biting my hands and protecting my face. This also caused severe problems for Buriad.
It was now becoming dark and we were still many hours away from our journeys end. We had seen no one since the bike had broken down which was about 3 hours. So we had to stop for the night. It was like being in heaven and hell at the same time. The landscape was mesmerising, the bright enormous full moon was in direct opposition to the red glowing equally giant setting sun, casting immensely long drawn out shadows of the mountains, ghostly reflections in the unending waters of Khar Us Nuur and creating the deep purples & blues that Nicholas Roerich painted in his travels through the Altai mountains in 1926. I was continuously trying to take this in by peeping through my highly inadequate sleeping bag & always been bitten by those wretched Shumuul!
Needless to say I did not get any sleep & by dawn I was feeling very ill. We had to continue, which was very arduous for me. I nearly passed out through vomiting so much. Running out of water did not help either. I felt this must be some kind of test of the spirits of khöömii and Chandman sum. Would I ever get there?