Having relaxed for a few days in Barnaul it was time to move on and push forward towards the Mongolian border. It was nice to relax and at the same time I picked up a very good riding partner at least to Ulgii in Mongolia.
It's difficult riding with others sometimes. You either get along well or you don't. It's simple. If you don't then don't travel together. Our speed of riding was relaxed and we seem to be both wanting the same thing. A nice relaxing time and soaking everything up. So I was happy. No stress.
The Altai mountains is a vast area that attracts a lot of people. As you start nearing the scenery changes and becomes this beautiful landscape. Valleys with rivers flowing through. Forests everywhere. The sun was shinning and the lovely sweeping bends in the roads definitely helped putting the huge smile on my face.
I love the mountains, always have done. It's very difficult to not compare mountain ranges. You ride and you think you're in the Alps, then round the corner you're in North Wales or Scotland. It's fantastic that I've travelled so much already but I still get excited when I see a new mountain range.
We rode very relaxed. Stopping as much as possible for photos and just to stop and take it in. Everytime we stopped the helmets would come off revealing the huge grins on our face. It was amazing.
We spent a couple of days riding through. Stopping at certain points for the view, the coffee, the food and even a puncture. Five hours to sort that one out! But the sun was shinning so it wasn't all bad.
One of the nights was spent sleeping in this wooden cabin. We were next to a river which made the area sound nice as you could hear the water rushing over the rocks. A fire was lit and tea was drank while chatting of travel. Herbert is a German, older than me and has ridden a lot of places. We shared stories and really got to know each other. On site was a sauna. Would have been rude to not relax in the sauna too.
As we got nearer to Mongolia the terrain started to level out. Indication that we have ridden through the mountain range. There's so much more to explore. But apparently for tourists you require a permit for this region to truly get lost. One day I would like to think I could return and see this stunning place again.
That night was spent in a small town to rest up properly and get some supplies before heading across the Mongolian. Who knows what stories lay ahead of us now. I can't wait. The Altai mountains are a truly stunning area to explore. And for a biker it's a lot of fun. Get yourself there and check it out!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. All your comments across social media have been great and such a motivational boost to keep doing this trip. I also thank all of you that have 'bought me a beer' through this website. Greatly appreciated and such a help while on the road.
Please keep the donations coming on my just giving page. I am trying to raise money and awareness for The Royal British Legion. A military charity that I feel very passionate about and your donation could help an injured soldier or a bereaved family. wwwJustgiving.com/AaronMitchellUK
Aaron and Penny.