Track us via Skytrack - Car 50 - Click Here

DAY 8: From there we have a nice early morning start to Ulaistra. We had a brilliant day and were the 5th car in camp. The drive was through mountains and plains, finally following the river that is on the edge of the lave field.

DAY 9: We are now at Teel River and I am not sure where we were last night because it was one of those days that you see and on TV.

We were doing well with our limitation on braking and we were doing this climb up the mountain when bang, and we over the side and going down. When the Studebaker decides it wants to go somewhere you let it and after 150 m we came to a stop and had a look. The left front spring had broken and this meant serious trouble! On the route book there was about 10 km to a truck stop, so we limped off ..... to find nothing there but a house!

To cut a long story short it took about 4 hours to make temporary repairs and we limped into the town and filled up at the designated filling station. We then found someone that could do welding and instead of going to camp we decided to try and repair the car. Eventually at 1h30 in the morning the car was running again!We had discovered that there was a "hotel" in town so we decided to get 4 hours decent sleep and then head to camp and get breakfast.

DAY 10: It was a 259 km run to Teel river and 150 km into the run the spring broke again. We made temporary repairs and decided we need to nurse the car into Khovd for repairs. The run today was long open plains with amazing scenery, but our car didnot start in the morning because it is to cold so this morning, so we asked for a tow from car 70, Bill and Danny. While trying to help us, their car stalled and they could not get it started again. They tried to tow the car and Bill ended having the car in reverse when they pulled it, and we ended leaving them with the mechanics.

We got into Khovd waiting for them and eventually they came in on the back of a truck. We felt bad and were worried the whole day.

More about the trip today - we had more time to take in the scenery as the roads where not that bad. Again open plains flanked by mountains. You would look at a mountain in the distance and before you knew it would be passing by on your left or right. Mongolia is a country of vast plains with sheep cows Yaks and camels. In fact, there are twenty sheep in Mongolia for every person and the meat and chicken tastes like true free range.

DAY11: We were hoping to have our spring repaired, but it looks like we're are going to have to improve on our temporary repair until Almatay. But getting there is going to prove to be a daunting task, so far we have travel 3000 km and Almatay is another 1000 km away. As each day progresses they distances seem to be so much shorter, and the worst part so far is that at least thirty cars are no longer with us and we are not sure whether they will join us again later, and every other car has needed some major repair.

The roads in Mongolia are absolute car destroyers and we have been using the routes that any traffic would take. In fact while we where repairing our car on the road some guys came to us with a piece of spring and we thought they were offering us help, while in fact they were asking for help to cut the spring to fix their truck. With one more day in Mongolia we are looking forward to putting these roads behind us, but at the same time the tar roads will most probably be boring after what we have been through.

DAY 12: The camp in Khovd is in an idyllic setting again on the banks of the river with the plains in front of us with mountains in the background. We spent the rest day in camp working on our car and on Bill Danny's ca, the 70 which broke down in Teel River Camp while trying to give us a tow start. They ended up trucking the car to Khovd and we felt really bad about that. Anyway, we got them going and sorted out our broken spring as best we could, hoping to get to Almatay.

In the afternoon, we watched a demonstration of horse racing, archery and Mongolian wrestling.

DAY 12: Today's drive from Khovd to the Border camp was all about keeping the car together. But when we got to Olg...y we found that the rims which had started splitting were so bad that we had to change the wheels. We thought we could do it at the petrol station, but this was just opposite a school which and there were at hords of children who at first seemed to surround the car, being inquisitive, but then started climbing all over it, trying to squeeze inbetween to see what we were doing. Then you felt them touching our pockets! We would try to get them to stand back but within 30 seconds, we were surrounded again. Eventually we realised that it would be safer to try and change the wheels, both in terms of then climbing on the car and our belongings, if it was jacked up. So we just grabbed our things and got out of town. Later we had reports of kids throwing stones at the cars or kicking balls at them.

Later that day we were on the open plains again and this kid came running up from a yurt towards the car as they normally do, only when he got close he also threw a stone at us, I read in our notes that the people living here were Kazaks and not Mongolians so I don't know if that had anything to do with these incidents.

Apart from that, we had a good day and were pleased that we have made it through what we were told by the organisers has been the most difficult few days that they have ever experienced in all the Rally's that they have organised (60).So in some ways we will be sad that we have left Mongolian but also glad that our car and bodies will get a well deserved rest.

Last night temperatures went down into minus five and we are expecting another cold night. Sleeping is fine but getting up at 5h30 is a bit difficult especially when you go for your morning constitution and the cold wind is whistling under the toilet seat! We are not looking forward to the Russian Border tomorrow morning, but a good shower and a normal bed will be great tomorrow, but we will have to drive 600 km to be there after the border crossing.