No money to pay the toll to get in the city!!

19th August 2010 by Helen

Saturday 14th August

Sunshine again!!  Makes the scenery so much more stunning.  We are now in the Arhangai region, which is reported to be the most beautiful  and so the sunshine is a much welcome change after the cold winds and rain of the last couple of days, which made everything so very grey.

Met some backpackers looking for a lift in the opposite direction.  Found

'gorgeous' scenery

'gorgeous' scenery

ourselves driving along the side of a gorge surrounded by so many different flowers and grasses it was like an English meadow (watch out for the video).  The Arhangai region is certainly living up to its beautiful scenery reputation.

Driving on we suddenly spotted a couple of vultures sitting on the field by the side of the road.  Now that’s not something either of us have seen before.  It was soon obvious why when we got a bit closer and could see a dog chewing on a carcass, being studiously watched by the carrion crows and other birds of prey.

The road conditions continue to be a cause of much comment.  The main difference here is that a lovely new road has been built.  Except it’s got mounds of dirt blocking it every so often and everyone has to drive on the old tracks in the mud alongside the road still.  It seems a real shame, there has obviously been a really major road building programme going on but the new roads are being completed in stages, perhaps as the money becomes available.  However, without tarmac they are still being used in places but this is causing damage to what surface there is.  Where tarmac has been laid there are already cracks that have been repaired.  Apart from vehicle damage there is further damage to the surface where rivulets of water have been running down the road.  Added to which, there is further erosion along the sides of the roads, either from water running down from the hills and undermining the foundations or from water running off the road and washing away some of the edges.

Anyway, today we finally reached Tsetserleg, the main town of the Arhangai region.  As with most main towns you have to pay to get in and you have to pay to get out.  Problem.  We have no Mongolian currency at all.  We had hoped that by arriving later in the evening they toll booths would have closed for the night, but no such luck.  So we parked short of the stop sign, much to the consternation of the guard who was blowing his whistle and signalling us to move forward, even though we were not actually blocking the road.  I walked to the barrier and managed to convey that we had no Mongolian money, only Roubles, Dollars and Visa.  Whereupon we were waved through without paying.

Tonight we are staying at the Fairfield guesthouse run by Mark and Gill Newham, who came to Mongolia, from England, 17 years ago.  The church they have planted here has developed and grown over that time.

Overnight – Fairfield Guest House in Tsetserleg

Distance travelled –



One Response to “No money to pay the toll to get in the city!!”

  1. Dave says:

    Have been trying to work out how plant a church (last para)?

    Best I can come up with is:

    – it’s a moss-que.


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