Goodbye Steppe

Onguday (Russia), 14.10.2013

There was no warm water in the morning and the cold shower went quick. I fled the filthy hotel, opened the car’s frozen doors, turned the engine on, started to pack and prepare breakfast and food for the day. Slowly the Evoque and I warmed up, the kettle gave its first dose of hot water for a tasty Nescafé, and at 09:00 I left Khovd. Continue reading “Goodbye Steppe”

Thousand Kilometers of Desert

Khovd (Mongolia), 13.10.2013

At exactly 08:00 this morning I hit the road on a sunny but freezing day. The doors of the car barely opened, and it took a while to warm the engine up. Fortunately the “hotel” at least had hot water for me (“breakfast” is not part of the vocabulary around here), so I could make coffee and tea for an extended breakfast on the road, as I drove through the vast, yellow steppe in the morning sunlight. Continue reading “Thousand Kilometers of Desert”

Through the Snowstorm

Arvaikheer (Mongolia), 11.10.2013

The roadside “hotel” from where I wrote this post was the salvation of the day, although I was surrounded by karaoke in the room under me, billiard in front of my door, and smoking and drumming neighbours next door. May the person that invented karaoke be tortured with ugly music for the rest of all times for the evil brought on earth! Continue reading “Through the Snowstorm”

Towards a Hot Bathtub and Warm Bed

Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia), 11.10.2013

After the previous days’ excitement today went very smooth and calm. A cloudy sky welcomed me in the morning, so again no shower. But an outdoor breakfast, with serious moka coffee and all kinds of tasty things I had with me. As usual, the car got packed quickly, and at 08:30 I drove down the hill where I had slept and was off on the dust track through the steppe.

Continue reading “Towards a Hot Bathtub and Warm Bed”

The Tractor of Salvation

48 27’04″N 111 44’01″E (Mongolia), 10.10.2013

The night went by with little sleep in the car. I turned on the engine a couple of times when it got too cold and put on the heating to not freeze. Temperatures fell to -6 Celsius, then -8 in the morning as the first light appeared. At 07:00 the sun rose behind a hill, and the day started with a breakfast in the blue Landcruiser. It was nice and warm, the coffee good, and soon the horrible night was forgotten. The sunlight warmed us quickly, then Andreas and I went to see some Mongol farmers nearby. The night before a guy on a motorbike had come to check their car and told them to visit them in the morning and get a truck to pull us put. Continue reading “The Tractor of Salvation”

Stuck in Mud

48 52’28″N 111 30’54″E (Mongolia), 08.10.2013

The day didn’t really start, since the previous one never really ended. Trying to fall asleep in the tent the night before, in the total silence and freezing temperatures I barely closed an eye and hoped for the morning to come quickly. It did, but other then I had thought. No sun warming me up, but rain complicating the packing of the tent, breakfast and everything else. At 08:00 I was on the road and initially made slow progress. The weather stayed bad, with light rain and a grey sky. I crossed several rivers easily, then found myself at what the GPS showed as a small flow of water, but what in reality was the biggest river so far. I tried to find a crossing for over an hour without success, the water was too deep, the river too wide, the ground too muddy. Finally a bridge came in sight, I crossed, and then had to drive all the way back on the other side of the river. Continue reading “Stuck in Mud”

Into the Mongolian Steppe

48 17’27″N 110 06’40″E (Mongolia)

Today it was time to finally say goodbye to civilization and face the wilderness of Mongolia. I drove out of Ulaan Bataar in sunshine, heading eastwards to see the birthplace of Chinggis Khan, the famous Mongol emperor who united the Mongols and then set out to create the biggest empire the earth has ever seen. He also destroyed a lot of places I had seen on this journey, so I was curious to see what land’s son he had been. Continue reading “Into the Mongolian Steppe”

The City Within the City

Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia), 07.10.2013

To discover the capital of Mongolia, where over a third of the total population live, I had a day. Instead of rushing through Ulaan Baatar into the eastern plains without knowing how the weather would play out, I had decided to stay, and wanted to use the day for two things: drive a tank and discover the city.

Continue reading “The City Within the City”

Ulaan Baatar

Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia), 06.10.2013

The morning welcome today came in form of a white car even whiter – covered in snow! At -2 degrees and windy, a freezing cold welcomed me as I left the hotel to drive to the border. I barely got the doors open, and had to stand in a big half-frozen puddle on both sides of the car as I packed. It took quite a while to get the car warmed up, but the blue sky and sun behind the hills on the Mongolian side of the border, cheered me up. Continue reading “Ulaan Baatar”

Towards Mongolia

Kyakhta (Russia), 05.10.2013

With the car checked up, food restocked and clothing cleaned, the time to move to the next adventure was ripe this morning. Weather wasn’t good as I drove out of town, and Irkutsk’s traffic signs drove me mad, but soon after breakfast I was on my way back through the forests towards Ulan Ude. I really hoped the sky would clear up after 10:00 or 11:00, as it so often had, to give me a chance to admire Lake Baykal properly. But I had no luck, the same rough, grey and distant sight as at the first encounter was what I got. Since a strong freezing wind blew and it kept raining, I didn’t leave the car to take pictures and just drove on. Continue reading “Towards Mongolia”

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