Dust, dust and more dust. Its everywhere

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Bayan Bulag Hotel

Flag of Mongolia  , Ovorhangay,
Friday, April 22, 2011

Got up and went to see if there was any breakfast. After a lot of negotiating, we were offered bread, jam and tea, The tea was served in a pint beer glass, and the jam looked just like blackcurrant jelly. Where do they get the blackcurrants? Anyway, it turned out to be complimentary, so no problems there.

Went out to sort the car. It was filthy, dust everywhere. And I mean everywwhere. The boot had about enough to fill the pint beer glass and everything is covered. Shaking things doesnt start to clean them. Some of the locals pitched in and helped wash the car. although I'm not sure how effective they were. More of a novelty to them. Eventually got on the road by about 1.30.

Had to pay another toll - this time 1500 Togrogs. Not sure what its for, but its official. Tar road ran out afetr a short while so we progressed on the dirt track. After a while we noticed a motor cycle going along well, and reaalised they were on tar next to us. So we backtracked to the lastt intersection (about 1km) and got onto the road (dirt) which we followed to where we'd seen them. It was tar! Great! We drove on happily, and after about 500metres, the tar changed back to dirt.

Apparently the Mongols have a 3 year road program. We arent sure whether it started 3 yreras ago, and they have given up knowing they wont achieve it, or whether it has just started, and they are still in tthe planning stage. Eoither way, today we saw lots of evidence of road works, but no evidence of any actual work going on. The raod in preparation is there, gravel at this stage, with barriers across it every so often to prevent people using it. After all, we done allow people to drive on the roads we are currently making, do we? But then, if we left the works with no activity, I'm sure people would be upset. Any way, we tried to use the road in making every so often, and then had to navigate the blockages every so often. Some were easy, just a small dip to do, but some were very steep and didnt allow for our ground clearance, so were more trouble.

Other than that, an uneventful day, apart from a puncture. We have driven through cities and towns without getting a screw in the tyre, but here we are in the middle of the Gobi desert, and there's a lonesome screw just looking for a nice tyre to join with.

Got to Arvayheer, having managed to do just under 100 km on TAR!!! And its tar from here on!!! Cant believe it!
Hotel is OK, we are in the Lux room, costs us about 15 for the 2 of us. Shower in our room doesnt work, so we could use the one in a nearby room. Dinner was rice, veges and meat, 3 beers between us, total cost about 5. Not bad. However, no wifi yet again. So keep waiting.

Martin's missing moment:
I must conffess this is written two days late.Roger is an owl and me a lark when it comes to the old keyboard.By the time he has finished doing all that he does (and he does) its very often gone midnight and I'm bushed.So any way here we are.
Yes today was supposed to have been a nice easy day and turned into a bit of a nightmare - desert roads that we did not expect and that puncture.Thankfully we did not arrive in the dark as we had done the previous evening and fell into a reasonable hotel which a local taxi driver guided us to after he had understood what we were saying.Its all very well us pitching up asking for such and such a hotel that we have found by looking through the guidebooks (complete details of a country written by one or two people after spending a day each in about 20 towns) when the truth is that the locals have never had the need to use the place and almost certainly don't know of its existence.Imagine doing a Lonely Planet guide of Bedford.Now there's a thought.Tomorrow we have in prospect a 400K tarmac run in to UB.We shall see- I do not think I have been pleasantly surprised yet. 

Mileage 232km, max speed 82kph, max alt 7114ft

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Barbara Goss on

Wow you are doing well! And tar to look forward to... heaven!

Janet & Dave Parsons on

Hope your long day on tarmic was sucessful and helped put you on track - I mean road! How long is dust expected? Well you are in a desert I suppose so dust is likely. Take care out there.

Janet & Dave Parsons on

Opps! Tar (not tarmic or tarmac or.....!)

Tim on

Martin and Roger,
Sunday morning here, Happy Easter to you both. Have just sat here and read from 41 to 48 of your diaries. Well, I tell you, although I haven't read Scott’s diaries, I did read Sir Edmund Hillary’s ascent of Everest, and the journeys associated with it when in Snowdonia at Christmas, and your stuff is right up there with that for excitement and page turning thrills....
Your writing makes us all feel every bump and grind in the road, and I can feel the dust almost in my own eyes. It certainly seems like difficult travelling conditions (understatement I'm sure). Being one of those trailers you mentioned I can imagine the roads, I just can't imagine driving them for 400KM!!! 1 or 2 is bad enough, so fair play to you. As an aside - I'm apprehensive to the competitive advantage you might be gaining Martin when we meet at the foot of the first Welsh Trial hill, especially all that 'altitude' training your doing :-).

Tragic news Roger that the camera has stopped working (I was so looking forward to seeing the river crossings!!), I wonder if Amazon deliver to UB!! However the images that are imagined when reading the entries are almost as good.
Anyway, Tarmac or not, good luck on the next section, and I look forward to the UB entry. We are all rooting for you on a daily basis. Am off to Royston tonight for a party, will do a bit of the journey alongside the tarmac in recognition of your efforts!

Mike Horgan on

Phew! Gettting worried about where you were. Thought maybe you'd been beamed up or worse. Nearly phoned Alison to see if she knew where you were. Still you have emerged again in a flurry of dust. I guess your lungs will needed washing out with all the muck that's in them. Easter Day here and nice and sunny. Keep on going. If not upward but onward.

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