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Beautiful Mongolia

July 18, 2015 1 Comment

Well we’ve made it this far! We’re in Ulaanbaatar trying to extend our Mongolian visa and get Russian and Kazakhstan visas. Not an easy task when you don’t speak the language…

The countryside in Mongolia is spectacular! Vast plains and hills of grass, with the odd yurt camp, herds of horses, sheep and goats or cows; eagles, kites and swallows flying about, amazing thunderstorms, little lizards and native mice scuttling about…

The people are friendly, but give us the most space we’ve experienced so far. Camping’s usual rather than unusual with 30 percent of the population nomads, so we’re not such a novelty.

The last two nights we camped beside a river at Nuurst, east of Ulaanbaatar and lots of other people were picnicking, splashing in the river and some camping. If we waved and said hello, they did too, otherwise we were left in peace to recover from the 23,000km we’ve driven.

We want to explore the north and the Gobi areas, but have to get visas sorted here first. Mongolia is not like China in nearly every way you could imagine. Much more freedom of thought and action, so Google and Facebook are all okay, although access to the PMF page is blocked, for some reason.

We miss our fellow China travellers, Hendo and Green, but are still enjoying ourselves!

Last night (July 17) we camped about 10km from a town called Sainshand. A gorgeous spot, elevated, with sweeping views of a vast valley, rocky, with the vegetation being low lying and looking and tasting like saltbush. In the evening a few gazelles skipped across our view, over the nearby ridge.

We went into town this morning, got directions from the Traffic Police, on how to get to an area called Dariganga in the southeast. To help, he jumped in his highway patrol car (a Hyundai) to lead us out of town. He took us about five km to a gravel track and said “follow this”. So we did. The track splits regularly, so you use the GPS to remain honed in on your target.

Later in the day we got off the track and cut a corner, bypassing a place called Ondoo. We used the GPS to remain on track though and camped near a gully. The countryside is spectacular. Sweeping plains, no real landmarks, green tinged saltbush. We followed large thunderstorms, at one stage driving between two.

Fifth Time the Fazda's been bogged... and counting!

Fifth Time the Fazda’s been bogged… and counting!

Part of the track was damp and muddy, which was good because it kept the dust down. However some swampy areas collect the water. They don’t look boggy, but they are!

The Cruiser was the first car at this stage and we diverted off the track to take the high ground to avoid a flooded track area. The high ground was wet too, but the Cruiser got through… but not the Ford Ranger! In she went, hopelessly bogged. Fifth time. Lynn got the photos before I would pull him out. The pull was tricky, as I didn’t want to join him. Anyway, all goes into the blog, eh!

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  1. Munkhgerel Bazardari says:

    Hi guys,

    Looks like you all having FANTASTIC trip !
    And I really enjoyed reading all your amazing advantage.

    Just want to say it was great to meeting you all

    Manager of the California restaurant ( you might not remember my name )
    Wish you all the best

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