Day Twenty-Six – remote ridgeline to the final remote field

My stomach feels a bit queasy, but not that bad, but not that good. I manage to sleep on and off till sometime in the middle of the night, at which point I struggle to open the tent. Tama stirs.
“What are you doing?”
“Throwing up,” I manage.
“It’s cos of that filthy shit you ate,” he replies, then falls back to sleep. “Oh yeah,” I think, “all that filthy peasant boy shit.” I vomit prodigiously, like a teenager drinking white cask wine on a bellyful of fish-and-chips. It amazes me how many litres of barely-digested rice and cabbage can pass back up my throat and out onto the moonlit field. There are sharp stabbing pains in my guts – I’m worried that the puking will be joined by spray-shitting – so I struggle into my warm clothes, put my jacket on back-to-front over my head, and stagger out into said moonlit field, stumble around retching, take my pants off, find out that’s not necessary, I’m still constipated, thank christ.

A couple of hours later, there is a loud slurping and gulping noise, practically in my ear. “Bear?! … horse,” I think. The noise of a prodigious horse piss slamming into the tent, confirms my hypothesis. i unzip the tent – not one of my smartest moves – and it’s a delirious nightmare of voimt, horse piss, stallion whinnying in the moonlight. fucked iup.

I wake up feeling less than refreshed. I’m not in the best shape to cycle 90ks down a main road, but we don’t really have a choice, so I just “get back on the horse”, as the saying goes. And after three weeks in the saddle, my bike practically rides itself – not fast, but fast enough.

We stop for lunch at a depressing truck stop diner, Tama than me are blessed by a Mongolian motorcyclist-monk, who places his hands on each side your face, breathes onto your forehead, then runs his hands down your head and shoulders. It’s great, just what I need. A couple minutes later, some drunken peasant tells Tama he’s a monk, and demands money. This is slightly less thrilling, and encourages us to bail out of there.

This day is hard, I can’t really remember much of it, presumably I look pretty seedy in the photos. During one particularly rugged uphill, Tama takes off ahead, trying to outrun a big dirty benzine truck. I keep to my slow pace, and curse. Loudly. I don’t have the energy to summon any of my comforting “happy place” fantasies (Happy Place One: I’m lying in a field of wild-flowers, naked, watching Laura float down out of the sky towards me, a triple-X Mary Poppins wearing a bell-shaped dress and no panties … Happy Place Two: I’m lying on my parents’ couch, with a beer, watching The Wire … Happy Place Three: Baltimore. Thinking about poor Omar, and that crazy McNulty – will he ever learn?). My saddle is sore, my stomach is sore, my hed is pounding. “FUCKING CUNT!” I yell at the top of my lungs, at the hill, at Tama, at myself, at Mongolia, at nothing. This kind of helps, so I do it again.

We make it to within 40kms of Moron, and camp out in a nice rocky field. The trip is almost over, and I’m ready for it to end. By some miracle we were sold fresh eggs in a diner, so it’s burnt fried eggs on toast for dinner. Heaven.

About Doiggus Khan

Tom Doig is a writer, performer, editor and moron. Tom has been published in The Big Issue, Maxim and Voiceworks. His plays include "Survival of the Prettiest", "Hitlerhoff" and "Selling Ice to the Remains of the Eskimos". He has an MA in Hitler Comedy and is currently writing a PhD about climate change. "Mörön to Mörön: two men, two bikes, one Mongolian misadventure" is Tom's first book.
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