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August 3, 2015 0 Comments

From 31 July to 3 August 2015…

Friday July 31, 2015

Heading south, we turned off the bitumen some 150km south of Ulan Bator and tracked west across to rock formations called Baga Gazryn Chuluu. “Chuluu” means rocks.

There was a cave, an old ramshackle monastery, a hole in a rock for a water spring and lovely rock formations. We camped overnight and mooched around through the next day.

Lonely Planet gives you co-ordinates, latitude and longitude for a hole in the rock to access spring water. What they don’t say is that the hole is 65mm diameter, on the side of a huge rock! But we found it, with the spoon beside it, so you could dip the spoon and sooth your thirst. Not bad when co-ordinates in a book can get you to a 65mm dia hole in the rock!

Sunday August 2, 2015

We moved south on the main road and pulled into a town called Mandalgov, population 7000 people. We got a bit of help with wi-fi, from a sort of library/kids drop in a small shopping centre and we asked a well-dressed lady on the street where the post office was. She promptly hopped in our car to show us. Boy, it was about 2pm and she stank of stale grog. Beautifully dressed, most helpful and polite, but the stench of stale grog – phew!

At the wi-fi place, the keyboard we used had more than half the lettering gone from the keys, so a message took a long time. Also, the Cruiser had been making a ‘knock’ noise at the front for a day or so, which was a loose/worn top shock absorber bush. So we needed a rattle gun to replace the bush. We found ‘dumb and dumber’, in the dirtiest workshop you could imagine, but we got both front top bushes changed for ten bucks and got outta there.

Barry’s Ford Ranger (SOFR for short) needed the front worn tyres put on the back and the backs put on the front. He got the wheel alignment done some time ago, too late to prevent the advanced wear, but didn’t do the tyre change until now.

Mandagov Car Repair

Dumb and Dumbers Repair Shop

We did it at ‘dumb and dumbers’ shed at Mandalgov. At one stage they tried to jack his car using the fuel tank as a platform! Until Barry caught them. Anyway, all ended sorta ok.

Further south, we slipped to the east some 50km, overland on tracks, to a place called ‘cliffs’. Also, something written in Mongol, but I can’t remember. As I said, we overlanded and took the opportunity to test Barry’s development with his new GPS. So we set a target, and as we didn’t have a track to use, separated 500m apart, to cover a wider area, to look for a suitable track.

It didn’t take very long to lose Barry completely. The radio message got mixed up and where we headed was 30 degrees from the way Barry was headed! We lost radio contact, so I got on top of a hill. It was a shared mistake from both cars, no blame to any one car, but as Barry’s not here to defend himself, it was his fault!

The landscape is a wide open sweeping grass tuft /desert plain. But there are humps and hollows, and, as it is mainly grassland, the driving speeds were significant. By the time we saw his car from standing on the roof, on the hill, he was about six km south of us, and heading away. Standing on the roof of the Cruiser dramatically improved radio reception. We got him to stop then headed his way, which involved up and over a number of hills, so a heading was needed so we didn’t lose him again.

The destination was a set of dramatic claystone cliffs, of jagged shape and wonderous  colour. Quite different and difficult to describe. I think the photos may not give the full picture, as the camera was still set on ‘sunset’ mode from the evening before. Barry got a few shots as well. His mobile phone results in great shots.

We camped nearby.

Monday, August 3 2015

I don’t know where the biggest vulture in the world lives, but I now know where his three twin brothers live!

We popped over a track on our way south west, when ahead we could see what looked like three Pommie letterboxes. They were black, not red, as they were in the shade of the morning sun. They could have been three sets of two 200litre drums sitting on top of each other! Then, they opened their wings, and using some angle of hill, got airborne.

By the time we got the camera out they only looked like B52 bombers in the distance. Bloody hell they were big! And ugly. I couldn’t get over how big and barrelled their chests were. We were quite close, say 50m, as we came over the hill and we were downwind, so we startled them. Not as much as they startled Lynn and I though!

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