An oasis in the desert

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

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Where I stayed
Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace Ulan Bator
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Mongolia  ,
Saturday, April 23, 2011

Came downstaris looking for breakfast. Saw the lady who runs the hotel, asked her, she
shook her head. Asked if we could have some tea? Shook her head. Nothing going at all.
Totally different to the young lady who served our dinner last nioght who couldnt be more helpful.

Set off knowuing that the road to Ulaan Bataar was tarred all the way, what a relief! Got about 3 miles into it (with the obligatory 500 Togreg toll) and there was the dirt! However that only lasted a short while  and we were back onto tar. But after about a kilometer, there was a pile of gravel across the road and a sign pointing to the track on the right. So it was back into the dirt. For the next 100km it was on the road, off the road, probably about 75% at least of the road was inaccessible. No idea why, there were a few potholes in the no go section, but there were a load more in the parts we were allowed on. Eventually we stopped around 10ish for a plate of guess what? Pro Nutro! with slices of apple in it this time. I took over the driving and we had one more
detour off tthe road, before it was tarred road all the way to UB. Just my luck!

Got into UB about 4ish. The hotel  we selected is the other end of Peacce Avenue, so we (Martin) drove the full length of UB, what a nightmare! Traffic like you havent seen. Makes a change from the last 4 days, where we have gone all day and seen aboout 5 vehicles total. Anyway we got to our chosen hotel, and booked in. Its expensive, but we negotiated a 25% discount and all the staff came out to see the old car and the 2 old dirty men. They recommended a nearby car wash,  where we took everythiing out of the car, and cleaned the main part of the dust off the equipment whil;e they valeted the car. 10,000 Togreg, about 4-5. Worth every penny too!

Came back to the hotel, had dinner, a bit of skyping, and now its time for bed. The staff here have been very helpful, sorting somewhere to get the tyre repaired, offering to help me get the camera fixed tomorrow, couldnt ask for more. But then isnt that what one expects from a top hotel?

Martin's Mongol moment:
Have I used that tag before?
An alternative would have been No Country for Old Men (or their car).Its Easter Sunday and we remember you all particularly today.last night I was able to get through to Alison on skype and understand you are enjoying glorious weather so make the most of it and enjoy the weekend.Yesterday (Saturday) was the 2nd anniversary of my purchase of the Morris and here it is a.k.a. Stanley in Ulaanbaatar.
Roger has told you that the early part of our expected smooth journey was anything but that today,but thankfully it then improved until we got into the nightmare of UB.Apparently there are only 1.5 million people here but I guess they all live in the same street.
Within 20 mins of arriving at hotel we had arranged for puncture to be repaired (hopefully ready today) and arranged for car to be washed and vacuumed inside and out.Sorted laundry and last night located DHL offices where tomorrow hopefully I'll collect spare fan belts which Alison sent from UK.When we discussed getting hotel here these were things which were priority and of course thaen you need to communicate with whoever you are hoping will point you in the direction of these services.Yes its an indulgence to choose these hotels once in a while but there is also an efficiency factor.Sounds feeble as I read it back.
So let us flourish with a finish:

"So take your last look upon sunshine and brook.
Send your regrets to the Czar.

Off soon to breakfast.Then a spot of maintenance (hopefully only that) before getting ourselves sorted for last leg .We are going to need a map!

Oh-that Pro-Nutro breakfast stuff.If it dries on the plate you need a bolster and chisel to remove the bits.They could use it to repair the roads over here.   

Mileage 438km, Max speed 84kph, max altitude 6619ft.
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Emily on

Don't be silly, you deserve the luxury of a nice hotel

Polly on

Happy Easter Dad and Roger.

We have had a delightful day out in the garden for lunch. Easter egg hunt and once around the meadow before talking to you. The priest this morning mentioned that the good weather must bring out more people. Mass was packed at 8am. I think the catholic church is making more out of their candle sales whilst you are away.

I have saved you some eggs for you to complete the adult egg hunt when you get home. Hope your head is healing.

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