Friday 29 Aug 2014
Border crossing today from Erenhot, China into Mongolia. We were told to expect the worst ie delays and waitings. But we were cleaed by both countries’ Customs & Immigration in 3 hrs (9-12). However, once inside Mongolia, the process of currency exchange took quite some time. Anyway, we rolled away around 2.30 pm and drove north for lunch at a Yurt camp in the middle of nowhere. We got there at 4.30 pm for a surprisingly good lunch.
Then a bit of sightseeing of a monastery in the middle of nowhere.
Saturday 30 Aug 2014
We drove north to Genghis Khan memorial village some 400 clicks away.
The roads were bad in many places, so Thomas decided to go off road. It was quite fun driving in the steppes. Finally we arrived at Genghis Khan’s “village” – very interesting reconstruction of 13th century lifestyle. Then to dinner and another yurt camping. Facilities were sub-standard and I had to postpone the big job.
Monday 1 Sep 2014
Autumn officially starts today in Mongolia. It’s getting cold. But I had a pleasant night last night sleeping to a warm fire from a wood fed fireplace in the yurt. And a good English breakfast with my favourite cereals, the cornflakes. Last night it was a chicken dinner and yesterday’s lunch was beef steak. I hope it’ll be just as good at Ulaan Baatar (UB) where we’re going to today.
Got into UB @ 10.45 am after a 75km drive, to a massive traffic jam. UB have half the population of Mongolia which is 3 million.
It was a busy afternoon since GENCO, our Mongolian trip handler already planned for some excursions before and after lunch. First a visit to Genghis Khan museum, Genghis Khan square and Parliament house. Then lunch, after that traditional massage, followed by theatre of traditional song and dance, BBQ dinner and back to hotel around 9pm.
After that to Russia-Mongolia friendship monument on top of a hill. And then lunch. After lunch it was shopping at a dept store; but there was nothing much really. No match for KLCC.
The cars receiving a much needed maintenance.
Ulaan Baatar from the hill
Wednesday 3 Sep 2014
We’re going to the Russian border town of Darkhan today about 200 km north. But first refuel to the brim, including jerry cans. Fuel is more expensive in Siberia.
No highways but paved roads with long sections of offroad conditions in many places.
We arrived Darkhan around 3.15pm and stopped at this pub with everything Texan. Good lunch with wifi. At 4 pm we drove further north to the border town of Sukhbaatar arriving at 6 pm. Another opportunity for full refuelling before we bed for the night.