SEAT ATECA Mongolia Bike ChallengeKirsten Scully
Blog by Teo Garcia, SEAT manager responsible for the Mongolia ATECA expedition
More than 8,000 km after having left Barcelona and making the nightmarish Ukrainian, Russian and Mongolian border crossings, we finally reached Olgii (Mongolia), a city near the Mongolian-Russian-Chinese borders. The founders of ROUND SQUARE ADVENTURES were waiting for us. Kirsten & Nacho; an intriguing couple comprised of a British/American photographer, ex-horsewoman turned biker and a Spanish mountaineer and cave rescuer, united by their love of the mountains and as they say “to their way of life akin” to the nomads of their beloved Mongolia.
The day after our arrival we left for ALTAI TAVAN BOGD National Park and while we loaded the food and bicycles onto the robust Russian vans, Nacho gave us our first lesson of how to fix our bicycles on a bike rack so that they didn’t move an inch, even though the terrain meant that we were constantly rolling along on three wheels. The lessons kept coming; he is a true expeditionary expert.
When we planned the expedition we had three objectives in mind: first to show that the SEAT ATECA was capable of negotiating tracks and paths that until then only the Russian vans and some all-terrain vehicles dared to go; second to be able to cycle in places where one just doesn’t see bikers, going up and down mountains of almost 30% pitch, reaching a height of more than 3000 meters and third, coexisting for a few days with the nomads who inhabit these lands and at the same time shoot an advertising video for SEAT including all of the above.
The three objectives were fulfilled thanks to the excellent organization, technical support, knowledge of the place and its people by Kirsten & Nacho of ROUND SQUARE ADVENTURES. The design of the route, the logistics of the transport, the places chosen to install the camps, to shoot the video, and the coexistence with the locals, (with a Naadam and an invitation to a local wedding included), were unforgettable.
Kirsten & Nacho were much more than guides; they became friends and it’s my sincere hope that we will meet again soon to undertake another adventure in another part of the world.
With all our affection and gratitude, Thank you.
SEAT manager responsible for the Mongolia ATECA expedition