Posts Tagged ‘water crossing’

A rainy lazy start

18th August 2010 by Helen

Thursday 12th August

With the rain lashing down all morning we really did not fancy getting out and getting wet putting the tent away so it was a real lazy start around what should have been lunchtime.  Just as we were packing away there was another one of those bizarre encounters we are getting used to.  A boy / young man (mid to late teens) walked over the col.  He said hello and then just stood watching us until we had finished and got in Landy ready to drive off and then he walked away again in the direction from which he had come.

The kind of stony conditions our General Grabber tyres are having to cope with

The kind of stony conditions our General Grabber tyres are having to cope with

After some ten to twelve hours rain the road conditions had changed a bit today.  Yesterday’s sand is now like silt.  Quite hard driving – slippery and with water filling the potholes so you couldn’t see how deep they were.

Once again we are seeing forests growing on the northern slopes of the mountains and we are heading towards Totsontsengel, which is built around the logging industry.  Today we also saw our first yaks – much shyer than cows, they don’t much like having their photos taken.

We finally arrived at Totsontsengel at about 5.50 pm – having also moved an hour on from GMT as well.  The banks had closed and once again we have not been able to obtain any cash in the local currency.  Totsontsengel is described on the road signs as a city but this is also a city without ATMs.  We spent our last 3000 Tegreg on a jar of pasta sauce, having bartered the price down from 3,200, chatted with a Belgium biker overlanding in the opposite direction to us, and decided to try to find our way out of town.

Easier said than done.  Totsentsengel is apparently at a crossroads.  We

Maybe the best way to drive your car on Mongolian roads?

Maybe the best way to drive your car on Mongolian roads?

wanted to try and find the primary road to Ulaanbaatar, broadly heading south east.  Except anyone we spoke to told us to take the secondary road to the east.  We dithered back and forth across a rather interesting bridge four times – in the middle of the bridge is a dropped section level with the water, a steep slope either side.  The water runs across the bridge and down a small waterfall, thus the bridge acts as a kind of dam.  In the meantime we towed a small minibus off the field and back on to the road.

Finally, we took the road east, negotiated a closed road sign by driving round it, and headed back out into the hills.  It’s cold, it’s rainy, it’s windy.  Rather like England in the late autumn.

Campsite – just outside Totsentsengel

Distance travelled – 136