After a few miles in the mountains and an unnecessary stream fording we took a side road through the mountains similar to the one we found in Romania. It wound through the mountains through small Russian villages full of increasingly Asian looking people
. Take away the few cars and power lines and these villages could have been transported from hundreds of years ago. Shepherds on horseback, people working in their gardens and cows all over the roads paying no attention to the large nearsighted vehicle driving toward them. As the sun started going down we made the call to continue into the mountains and possibly camp so we could see the sights in good light. As we entered deeper the mountains got taller and taller and the people fewer and fewer. After an hour or so driving in the dark we found a hotel with rooms. We went down to get dinner and between our limited Russian/French/Spanish and the woman's limited English we ended up with bowls of potato, cabbage and lamb soup that was surprisingly good. The staff at the hotel all had Asian features except for the Russian woman in charge which further signaled the changing population as we passed through the mountains. The Russians have gotten nicer and nicer as we've moved farther east which has been a welcome change.
Tomorrow off to our last border crossing and Mongolia!!!
Steve Wilcox completed his leg of the rally today and caught his flight to Almaty in the morning. By about two o'clock we could see mountains in the distance and everyone was very excited to get to Mongolia. Russia wasn't done with us yet through. There is mountain range between Novasabirsk and the Mongolia border that we had to cross. With the mountains in the distance we broke out the flying drone/GoPro camera contraption for the first time for some aerial shots. Steve is out resident certified pilot so he took to the controls and did a few flyovers with the cars driving by. We're hoping the footage will work out for the trip video Steve is working on.