After successfully arriving on time in UB, it was time to apply for a second Chinese visa. I had heard horror stories about this; but it proved to be easy and largely pain free. However, during the two days the visas took to process, the devastating news came through that the Chinese authorities had denied us the permits to take our bikes back in to China. There was another group staying at the Oasis Guesthouse who were due to pass through China at much the same time as us, using the same company and their permits were granted. The only explanation given was that because two of our group had broken the rules and been (disgustingly) abusive toward the guide during the first leg through China, the authorities decided we weren't worth the hassle. So, a year of planning and preparation ruined because of two arrogant, ignorant selfish people. Put me right off group travel.
Anyway, once this news came through there was nothing for it but to get drunk on the local vodka ("Chinggis Khan" brand, naturally. This was augmented by some "Putin" vodka). As the trip was now buggered, I was keen to get out of UB as soon as possible and get to South-East Asia. So, after a quick trip to see the massive Chinggis Khan statue and too many days doing nothing. A freighting agent was recommended (who turned out to be not great), and my bike was packed ready to be sent to Bangkok. I flew to Hong Kong for a few days; spent a couple of days in Guangzhou (were I was ill), then continued on to Bangkok. These two weeks without the bike were not that enjoyable and I just sort of drifted. The focus and impetus for the trip had gone; the objective not achieved. I started counting the hours until I could get my bike back and get back on track.
Soundtrack: Napalm Death - Scum