Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’


15th March 2011 by Helen

mexxi's logoIt’s been a lovely couple of nights staying at the KOA campsite in Costanoa.  It’s been a bit primitive in the camping area but it’s been very peaceful and I’ve absolutely loved the racket made by what sounds like a whole army of frogs living in the field right behind the tent.

nclrclub logoAfter a gentle start to the day we were on the move again.  Not far though.  We were delighted to accept an invite to dinner with the Northern California Land Rover Club at Mexxi’s in San Ramon a little north again from the campsite.  We had a great evening talking Land Rovers and Expeditions – and some really great food.

Campsite – Being rather late back on the road we opted for a Walmart ‘camp’ as we head south again.

More wonders

18th September 2010 by Helen

Saturday 18th September

After a late night last night Dima returns and picks Paul up at 10.00 am and they go off to buy some oil.  German takes me back to his apartment where I can finish off checking emails while Paul and Dima finishing working on Landy.  Later we take a walk around town, stop in a café, do a bit of shopping. 

It’s time to brave the attempt to get a new SIM-card.  Remember this is Russia, only holders of Russian passports can legally buy a SIM-card.  But we’re going to try anyway.  We stop in a grocery shop to buy some fruit for supper.  Once again we are a source of curiosity here.  Another customer is interested in where we come from.  She follows us out of the shop and we indicate we are looking for a phone shop (Russian shops here are like the ones in Mongolia and Kazakhstan – from the outside it is largely a guessing game as to what the shop sells).  She points one out but comes back when she sees Paul has stopped to finish eating his ice-cream before going in.  She decides to come in with us to make sure we are able to get what we want.  We tell the girl behind the counter we want to buy a SIM-card.  She asks for Paul’s passport, looks at it and says ‘no’.  Our escort is indignant on our behalf and buys the card herself.  We pay.  Once again an angel has come to our rescue.

We could in theory leave Gusinoozersk now but Paul still needs to do battle with his technology gremlins, and we have heaps of writing and downloading of photos to do.  In effect we need to stop somewhere for another day and so have decided to stay here until Monday morning.  We may not have hot water in the shower at the hotel but we’ve brought our Hozelock shower in from the car and there is a kettle with which we can heat the water.  It’s warmer here and the beds are comfortable.  We’ve met loads of friendly and helpful people (although a couple of times we’ve been advised to keep our hands on our money).  There’s a restaurant in the hotel, a café in town and shops that sell other bits we might need.  The only drawbacks are that the restaurant is not open when they have a wedding or other celebration to cater for, and as it appears this is the only ‘venue’ in town, that will take up most of the weekend, together with the lack of easily available good quality internet access.  So, come Monday we will head off to Ulan-Ude where we have been told we can get Wi-Fi at an internet café to send and upload the work we do here before heading off to a place called Chita.

In the city

18th August 2010 by Helen

Sunday 8th August

After a leisurely breakfast and shower we headed back to the Chinggis steak house, before heading for the Internet Café we found yesterday.  Although we ordered two meals they forgot and only made one so Paul went without!!  The internet café where we know the internet works is closed because it is Sunday.  The other internet café, where we couldn’t get the internet to work yesterday, didn’t have internet again today either.  In fact, it seems the whole city’s internet has been unplugged today.  So we went grocery shopping and spent all our cash.  It’s Sunday so all the banks are shut and most of the ATMs don’t operate 24 hours.  Not that it makes much difference, with no internet even those that might have been working weren’t.  Now cashless, we eventually persuaded a very reluctant supermarket (in the bank building) to change $50 so we could get back out of town (you have to pay to enter and leave the town – 500 Tegreg – about 50 cents, or 40p).  Then back to the Chinggis where Paul finally got his dinner!!

It was at Chinggis we met a group of German tourists.  They had flown into town as part of a tour party and were off for a guided tour of a ger.  We reflected on the different experiences.  We may not see all the important tourists sites but we have had so many genuine interactions with the Mongolian people that we think this more than makes up for anything we might miss.

The differences between the people living in town and country is much more marked than in England.  Here in town the young people are much more cosmopolitan in their dress.  The internet café, which is really a gaming café (actually café is a misnomer, there’s no refreshment, not even a drinks vending machine), is mainly full of young boys playing games and girls on MSN.  Not so different from home really.  The children seem younger in their behaviour in town than they do in the rural areas.  Other differences include tarmac on the roads, and today we saw new pavements being laid (where previously there has only been dust and dirt).  Some sights are still strange in town – the man riding his horse along the tarmac at full gallop, smoking a cigarette with one hand while holding the reins in the other, maintaining his balance with his legs straight in the stirrups.  The children riding on the back of the horse drawn cart.  The cow grazing the weeds in the restaurant gardens!

Camping just outside town we were amazed to see so many stars deep in the sky.  Despite this being a city we are so close to there is hardly any light pollution!!

Campsite – just outside Ulaangom

Distance travelled – 34 km