Story starts at 37N 137E
One month had passed since my last visit to a confluence (47N 109E). After following Madame de Bourboulon’s footsteps through the Gobi with a jeep all the way to Ulaanbaatar, I continued to follow her route but this time on a horse. Then, on August 2nd, I took a train and hitchhiked to make the last two stages before reaching the Russian border which I crossed at Altanbulag, the exact same location through which she had passed herself 150 years ago.
After reaching Ulan-Ude, I had to abandon her route for a while in order to go back to China to pick up my motorbike. On August 8th, I boarded the Trans Manchurian, which goes from Moscow to Beijing, and arrived in Harbin on the 10th before taking a bus on the 13th to reach Suifenhe, the border town where my motorbike was kept.
Two months ago it was Chinese customs which didn’t want to let me in. This time it was the army which didn’t want to let me out. But I finally managed to get through the border after waiting for three days. Then I rode my motorbike north to Khabarovsk and got on the Trans-Siberian in order to go back to Ulan-Ude.
My motorbike followed me on a different train and after picking it up at the station on August 29th with Sergei Bolshakov’s help and his friends, we decided to visit a confluence only 50km away from the city. At 8pm, we left his dacha with his wife Ira and one of their friends and drove east for almost one hour. We found a dirt road going north at a small junction and we took that road for about six kilometers. We went through the small village of Onoroy Shibir and across two wooden bridges before reaching a pine forest where the road ended. We just had to walk the last 30 meters to locate the confluence.
It was now getting dark and cold: the temperature had dropped to 12°. It was time to head back for Ulan-Ude where we arrived shortly before 11pm.
Story continues at 58N 56E