drone aerial view of gobi desert
thunderstorm ger gobi desert
golden gobi
fire cliffs Gobi desert
clusterfuck t-shirt sand dune
rainbow thunderstorm gobi desert
gobi desert sand dune
car wreck gobi desert
sprocket clusterfuck
nomad children gobi desert
motorcycles on gobi desert plateau
motorcycle trail gobi desert
mongolian children


Trip Summary

Name: Wrong Way Round Mongolia
Destination: Gobi desert
Distance: 3,130 kms (1,956 miles)
Vehicle: Mustang Shineray 150cc

Trip Diary


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In search of the Mongolian Clusterfuck

In this fourth instalment of the “Wrong Way Round” series we rode Chinese hybrids (part motorcycle, part rocking horse) across Mongolia. It’s known as the “land of eternal blue skies”. We discovered this is a blatant lie or how else do you explain the sky turning brown in sandstorms, dark grey in thunderstorms and very black at night.

The Urban Dictionary gives various definitions for the Mongolian Clusterfuck:

  • A generally futile attempt to solve a problem by throwing more people at it rather than more expertise
  • An event that is spinning or has already spun out of control with disastrous results
  • A group of people or vehicles all in the same place, preventing each other from moving on
  • A sexual act involving a toilet brush, rubber gloves and various people

All of these scenarios perfectly describe an Extreme Trifle trip as long as you substitute “sexual act” for “emergency repair”.

Not your average clusterfuck

Our problem with these definitions is that none of them are based on scientific observation. It would seem that the Mongolian Clusterfuck is as folkloric as the Tooth Fairy or a maintenance-free Austin Montego. Where people have claimed witness to an “MC” it is just as likely to have been a good old fashioned calamity or utter fiasco. That’s like claiming to be in the SAS because you completed Call of Duty.

Our mission was set. To capture the elusive Mongolian Clusterfuck on film. Not the grainy, fuzzy sort of footage where you’re not sure if it’s a Bigfoot or a shag pile carpet propped up against a fence. This was going to be the real deal. It goes without saying that this had to occur in Mongolia. Otherwise it’s merely an average clusterfuck like “Call Centre Clusterfuck” or “Parking Ticket Clusterfuck”, and that just won’t do.

Bubonic plague you say

And so Extreme Trifle crossed continents in the latest instalment of the “Wrong Way Round” series of motorcycle escapades.  To go where nomads and goats have been before in search of a bona fide, real deal, proper Mongolian Clusterfuck. The signs were already good. Not all of us were on the right flight and the whole trip hinged on someone 5,500 miles away, who we’d never met, turning up with the Chinese mopeds we ordered.

Then factor in a few slight oversights for travel jabs in areas that still have outbreaks of Bubonic plague and suddenly the prospect of getting the shits from stir fried yak’s testicles washed down with fermented mare’s milk seemed a mere hiccup.

But hey, as we all know, bad decisions make good stories.