2nd September – Still in Gorno

2 Sep

In the morning Marjool decided that, however awkward, she would  wash her hair today …… no wonder she appreciates it when we have a bit of luxury!

Having read the Lonely Planet guide we were not expecting to like Gorno Altaisk, but it is a nice place to sort things out, get supplies and to register the visas for the Altai. It has plenty of nice shopping plazas and plenty of banks and places to eat. There is lots of confusion regarding the need to register, but as we will be here for around 10 days and do not want hassle at the border, we decided to do it anyway. It is possible that if you drive straight through on transit that you do not need it, but local advice is that you do.

If you decide to register you can go straight to a lovely lady called Lioubov who runs a tourist agency called Aguna and it is on Choros Gourkina number 39/8, third floor office 313. It is a couple of buildings back from the one pictured below.

Lioubov will complete the whole process within in 90 mins including visiting the immigration office for you. We left her to it and headed off for a coffee and for Graham to get a haircut. Great coffee shop called Travelers Coffee on the main road Kommunistichesky number 26.

The staff are friendly and one speaks good english. There is free Wifi as well, so we spent a while there updating the website.

On the opposite side of the street was a good place to get a haircut. Explaining what you want requires some interesting sign language!

On the way back to pick up the visa registration we met a couple of bikers http://www.twoadv.com from Norway and Sweden who had just travelled from Japan via Mongolia. The had a great time!

By the time we arrived back the registration was complete. Thanks Lioubov and her assistant!

We are now on our way into the Altai. We are not sure about internet there so this may be the last post for a while …. At best we will keep up to date until 10th September, but it is uncertain! From what we have heard there will be few chance in Mongolia, but we will still be pressing the button on the spot location device, so our location will be updated most days.

On the way to Aya we saw another Land Cruiser with the Azalai conversion coming towards us. It had French plates and so we slowed down to have a look. They had the same idea and so we pulled over for a chat. They had been in Mongolia for the last two months and so were able to give us some good tips.



Just down the road from Gorno is a place called Aya that you can access by an interesting looking suspension bridge or drive around (about 2 km) to a new looking bridge. Once there we found that most of the food stalls and some of the cabins had closed for the season. Although we could have found somewhere to stay, it did not feel that welcoming. We opted to carry on down the M52 (not motorway, more an A road) for a few k’s until we came across some modest cabins by the river. It cost us 1000 Rub for two nights including a banya each evening.



Tomorrow will be a day without driving!


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