Ozzie

Ozzie

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Day 150 - Gusinoozersk to Darkham - Tues 23 Jul

Day 150 - Gusinoozersk to Darkham - Tues 23 Jul
Oops -backed into deep hole whilst leaving campsite and lost mud flap trying to reverse out. Then split front headlight guard hooking on to tree branch when reversing again. Drat - no vehicle damage for months, and then two minor issues within minutes. More important matters ahead though, as we approached border town Kyachta by 11am. Border crossing details will be  added to blog separately, although most “memorable” moment was not being allowed to drive back into Mongolia without third party insurance (officers refused to open barrier gate).  We were “stung” quite heavily being charged 74000TG; Miles and Marina argued with them when he came through later and was only charged 17000TG (bonus of speaking Russian!) The entire process finished just on lunch closure at 1pm, so it’s the shortest crossing to date with 2 hours all up. Fortunately the beautiful scenery continued, because when we stopped for lunch in cafe in Sukhbaatar, we had almost forgotten how bland Mongolian food is...









Putting the Mongolian SIM card back in the phone created an issue – no one could receive emails/ internet. We found the MobiCom office and sat there holding up one line of customers until they had resolved our issue (need to type in internet in the box after cellular data in settings if reinstating card), and paid for additional 250mg data to activate the next month, and for credit to transition over.We moved on to Darkhan, past the live animal market, and were amazed to see a drunk staggering into street - such a rare sight elsewhere on our travels. Found ATM, fuelled up (the Isuzus happy to find Euro 5), went for early dinner at our friendly Texas pub, and used their free wifi for money transactions etc, before turning west with relief at being on “new road”. It seemed the plains were not quite as emerald green as last week as the countryside dried in the summer heat. We will happily discard long pants and sneakers for shorts and sandals. 
Pulled off road on outskirts of Darkhan for our camp, next to a natural amphitheatre, instantly naming it "Lord's Cricket Pitch". Strange drumming noises and party sounds came from nearby farmhouse. Huge full yellow moon as we showered and readied for bed. Through night a horse came right up to van snorting and munching - very friendly, Mongolia!





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