Thursday, June 21, 2007

The road back to civilisation ...

The snowstorm delay meant we faced a choice - either extend the trip by another day, or drive late into the night to get back on schedule. The lure of unlimited hot showers and decent grub was simply too much for us, so we decided on the first option.

I think we must have forgotten about the state of what passes for roads in Mongolia, and pretty soon we were being thrown around the back of the Jeep even more violently than usual as we hit several times the number of ruts and bumps full on. Then about 11pm in pitch black darkness, disaster struck. The jeep lights went out. Permanently.

Eventually we came up with the solution - the Petzl headlight - we fixed a humble LED headtorch onto the bonnet to provide just enough light to get us to the next building some 15km away.

After a deeply uncomfortable 5 hours spent sleeping on the floor of mud-track side cafeteria, we made an early start for our final destination, Ambersaygalant Monastery - where we sat drinking Mongolian vodka "Russian style" (shots, with coke chasers) well into the small hours to celebrate the end of our trip ....

So as the first leg of our adventure comes to a close, it just remains for me to say a big well done to Mel - as of last week officially Mel Starrs MBA (as well as all the other ones I can't remember)

And finally here's a link to the homepage of Mel's friend Georgia, who, along with her friend Yasmin will be driving a 1.0 litre Nissan Micra to Mongolia in the Mongol Rally this July. If anyone is interested in sponsoring her they are supporting some good causes ... I look forward to hearing how the Micra fares on these god-awful roads !