Just as dirty but no dust

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  ,
Sunday, April 24, 2011

Martin's miserable moment
So a lost day today I'm afraid.We intended to stay in UB anyway in order to recharge our batteries and do a bit of planning-after giving the car a health check.Did most of things as planned until I got underneath for some reason and discovered both front springs broken together with front mounting brackets.I can feel you getting bored.Banged welded,sawed,swore,bolted,belted,swore some more and we ended up having worked all day with no lunch with one set more or less OK and main spring broken on drivers side.Most of it may have been like that for a week.We'll just have to get on with it and pray that we do not have to repeat the off-road exploits of the last week.
I'm writing my footnote before Roger does the main blow by blow account so he will no doubt mention the incident.Suffice to say I don't think he is a complete Christian yet.
So we dragged our weary selves into the hotel in order to re-gather ourselves and think about what we should have been thinking about today.Just as we were going in there he was -Big Red.A 6 foot 2+ inch red faced,red-haired genuine Aussie.All the way from Perth 8 years ago.Yeh - thieving bar stewards these locals-don't trust anyone.He has given us a good steer on the route forward and we are hopeful that the road will be more forgiving.We;ve come so far and we need to finish this instalment of the story.So its a battered and slightly fried correspondent this evening but we're still moving about and heading for Russia.
Keep everything crossed for us.
We know we've been away a long time and very remote.We are trying to get in the frame of mind now that we are on our way home.Keep those prayers coming-apparently there's been a slight drop off according to recent statistics.

Roger here.
As Martin has already said, we spent most of the day under the car. I guess thats the price you pay for driving a car across these roads.

Breakfast was great, its reputed to be the best breakfast in Ulaan Baatar, and there was a wide variey of things to have. Having spent the last 4 days driving through the desert, and I mean desert, I wonder where they get the water melon and other fruits from? We havent seen any livestock except cows, sheep, goats and yaks, so where do the eggs come from? One of life's mysteries I guess. There's also lots of rice on the menu, I thought rice was grown in paddy fields, not deserts?

As I said, spent the day under the car. Gambat from the Hotel has been exceptionally good to us, organised the repair to the tyre, and then took my camera to a repair shop to have it sorted for me. Brought it back, and as I was lying on the ground at the time, I put it on the back shelf of the car, out of reach for anyone. However, when we came to pack up at the end of the day, there it wasnt. I was furious (mainly with myself).

Assumed that with people helping us all around, it would be safe, but then you really never can tell can you. So from a camera that doewsnt work, to a camera that works fine, to no camera at all. Aaaarghhhh!

Well, this isnt an acceptable place to be in, so Gambat took me into town, and I bought a replacement. Not the one I wanted, but the next version up, as they didnt have the exact replacement. So the saga will continue dear readers.Just had dinner, grilled ox tongue which is a local delicacy. Very pleasant meal, and now its tme to bring you up to date with the latest posting, and then off to bed before we proceed back into Russia with our final border crossing of this leg of the journey.

Mileage, nothing to speak of, altitude all the same, max speed nil, under the car all day.

Just discovered that my new camera is programmed in mongolian. Can't understand a word of it. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!
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Susan and Bill on

Just wanted you both to know we are still reading your amazing accounts. Belated Happy Easter. Another lovely day here but it is due to get colder by Tuesday.

sara on

hopefully the camera will still do the basic point and shot things? isaac and bethan loved talking to you this afternoon- as did we all- hope tomorrow's parcel retrieval goes smoothly and the road ahead is kind.
thank you for the easter eggs xx

lizandcharles on

Belatedly we wish you a Happy Easter - (I gather it is about 02.30 hours in Ulan Bator on Easter Monday at the moment so I hope you are both having a good night's sleep). We have just been spellbound by reading your entries for the last few days and can almost feel the amount of physical effort made in driving, solving mechanical problems then repairing them as well as navigating and dealing with officialdom. Awe inspiring. No wonder you feel bushed at the end of the day! Do keep up the blogs and the pics and you will have enough material for a good sized book. All the very best of luck from both of us.

Emily and Alison on

We're keeping everything crossed that the car springs etc hold up. So sorry to hear about your camera Roger. We were too busy shouting at the computer earlier to hear about it. Have you got all your photos saved on your laptop? Hope so. Well atleast they're on the blog for your records.
Where's your camera Martin? Now's your chance.

Lovely to speak to you today. Mum and I are worn out just reading the last week's entries. But chin up chucks, you're nearly there.
Happy Easter. We'll buy you some eggs when they are reduced

Pats Sampson on

I've said it before.... & am saying it again You 2 are INTREPID!
Your wives & families are something else as well! Just like all explorers W's at home not being able to do anything but gnaw their fingers to the bone whilst Rog & Mart are charting a course through the Wild East! All our friends in Gabs are waiting for the next episodes with baited breath, you have people South, North & West rooting for you!! Happy end of Easter.

Jamie Woodward on

Keep up the good work you two! Photos look great, wild country!

Tony and Diana Longson on

Are you really happy with your satav? I thought you were going to Australia - you seem to be a little too far north right now!!!! What an amazing journey you're both having - it certainly makes fascinating reading|! Good luck for the rest of the trip and we look forward to your next blog!

Eileen Swaisland on

Hi Martin & Roger. Missed reading the blog whilst you were in a wifi dead zone, its become part of my nightly routine to catch up on your daily exploits! Have taken time out of gardening to catch up wow what an adventure your both having (not sure it feels like that at times for you both) looking forward to the book. How about a film? now to choose our stars for the leading roles hmm will give it some thought and get back to you. Safe travels.

Cousin Chris on

We are still following your every word and cannot say enough how amazed we are by your tenacity. I am sure many would have looked for a ticket home by now.

Oh I am so sorry about the camera. I hope you have not lost too many photos. At least you have posted some back here.

Here is the final verse of my contribution for your last leg:

"Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for long years;
and even to anchor at the isle when you are old,
rich with all that you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have taken the road.
But she has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not defrauded you.
With the great wisdom you have gained, with so much experience,
you must surely have understood by then what Ithacas mean."

Jemma on

Thieving Bar Stewards hey. Hope he gave you some Aussie Easter Eggs as don't melt,apparently.
It is back to work for me tomorrow after 5 days off, I think I was born to do nothing.
Fingers crossed with the springs and hopefully you have managed to find a warm shower

Mary R on

Swearing, Martin? I certainly hope not. Though we do feel your pain across the internet - just keep going!! You have come so far! It was excellent seeing you on the computer, how amazing it seemed like you were in the room. It may amuse you to know that I now, hilariously, have a BOIL, so fear not, you are not the only sufferers in the Redmond clan (!), though that square dent in your head is quite miraculous! Almost as much as the jelly bean with Kate Middleton's face on it - very impressive. Take care of yourselves, car and camera please xxxxx

Lorraine, Roy and Jam on

Looking forward to hearing from you Rog!! Hopefully we will manage a get together on Skype while Jam is with us!!!

Emily on

Dad, you will be pleased to hear I have got the photo of you with sand all over your face pinned up on my pinboard at work
My dad the explorer...

Jemma on

Hey Guys,
How are you holding up?
Dad I have sent you an email with flight details and info from Bill. Am slightly concerned you won't receive it as I got an auto reply from Yahoo saying you will not be looking at your emails for 2 months. Haven't had that message before. If I haven't heard from by Monday will let Mum know and maybe she can relay my findings.
Hope the Pro thingy stuff doesn't run out.
Has the Royal Wedding reached you?
Thinking of you both.

Sara on

Hi Jemma- fear not- your pa is definately getting and replying to emails- when he has time, energy and wifi- not sure how that should be prioritised, can only imagine how exhausting the adventure must be.
Martin- took Isaac to Cycle King and picked out a new bike- of a decent size- green one far too tiny. He loved it for about an hour, but has decided it's a bit big- am hoping it's a slow grower. He's been telling all his chums about talking to Gramps on the pooter, so not just the big kids that love seeing and hearing from you- glad that Roger was making reverent comments in the background. looking forward to the next chapter when wifi permits.

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