19th september – Altay to Bayankhongor

20 Sep

Diesel price 1760 T / lt which is just under 1 Euro.

Left the ‘secure parking’ by the hotel in Altay. It never seems to work out for us staying in the Mongolian towns as there are hundreds of barking dogs all night. If you are in a camper just head out about 1km and you can camp almost anywhere. There is often a river and it is so much quieter! We were full of diesel again and as we set out on the road to Bayankhongor we could look over the ger district.

 

 

We then stopped just outside Altay and Graham checked over a few things on the car, tightened up a couple of connections, checked the fluids and greased the steering joints. All seemed OK. Marjool fancied fried potatoes for lunch later and so boiled some up ready … why not!

The scenery was similar as were the road conditions. We need to cover some ground to allow more time in the national parks, and temperatures are dropping, so we pushed on most of the day. As we got further into the Gobi the camels increase in number.

 

All of the long drives so far have been along massively long valleys, hundreds of km long. You never seem to leave the mountains either side of you or get any closer to them. When you stop, you realise that rather than being barren, the ground is covered with tiny, pretty plants.

 

 

We travelled on towards evening and came to a little ger village by a river. We looked for a way to continue, but there was a river in the way. It looked too deep to cross and Marjool was not keen to put on her swimming things to check the depth! We turned around thinking that there must be another way and in doing so noticed lots of tractors by the gers. It seemed that people were generally towed across.  Just then a couple of lorries turned up that we had passed earlier. They just grinned at us and waved us to follow them across!

 

 

It was actually not as bad as we thought, but without following the lorries we would have gone straight across and it would have been uncomfortably deep. It would be different if we were just away for a week or so but we really need the car to stay together for the whole trip and so tend to be more cautious.

 

If this is the driest time in Mongolia, I’d hate to be here in May! I think that earlier in the season some of the places that we have been would have been really muddy … and deep mud!

 

Travelling through Mongolia when it is wet would require more time and would ideally be done with at least two cars. It would be great fun though!

Our camping spot for the night was in the hills between two valleys and was fantastically quiet!

 

Tomorrow we only have to go about 90km to Bayankhongor.

 

 

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