After a long day yesterday we got to have something to eat at around 8.30 in the evening.
The rally ended up with a vehicular mishap that cancelled the speed event. The occupants of the affected car were shaken but not hurt. Accordingly, the penalties for time of those that completed the course, which we had, were averaged out over the slowest and fastest times of those that had completed. That average time was less less than we finished at. We accrued more penalty points than those that did not finish!!
We ended up being placed 42 overall and 16 in class on the first day. Not much use arguing about. There are 35 more days to go.
The damaged vehicle will apparently be repaired with local panel beaters working all night to make the car drivable again.
It was a clear warm day today with blue skies and the days event took us through Grasslands plains to Erenhot.
Enroute we were surprised to take part in a grass track open pasture circuit comprising a sandy/dirt track cleared in the middle of a grassy farm like area.
Didn’t look like much but we started with a hiss and roar so that we could complete the course in the fastest time.
It was just great fun! The track was sandy, had lots of rough areas and bends as well as a sand trap. A neat drive!!
This woke us up real fast. A camera was placed in the cabin to record our reaction to the course as we traversed it. Will be good viewing so long as they bleep out the swearing.
A great way to start a day.
From there onward, the road was mainly sealed and concrete highway that traversed north through the desert towards Mongolia. As we came away from the city of Hohhot, the landscape changed to agricultural land growing vegetable crops, very like Pukekohe back in NZ only vastly larger.
Trees being planted everywhere
The land then transformed into huge areas of planted tree forests which, although juvenile at this stage, with massive planting underway, mechanically, is jaw dropping.
Massive agriculture. Thousands of hectares
Hours of travel saw the same going on for as far as could be seen. In 30 to 40 years China will not only be self sufficient in timber, they’ll be expiring it to nz if we don’t start planting heavily.
China is no longer a third world country. They do not any longer slave in the field as we learned at school. They are advancing At a huge rate. Scaffolding is no longer bamboo poles, and the construction scaffolding glistens in the sunlight around enormous projects that are just awesome. Too much for an in depth dissertation here.
China is transformed since when we were here In 2013. Trees and greenery everywhere.
As we moved north into more desert like terrain, it too seemed greener although the further we drove, the untidy spruiked desert grasses became more interspersed with bare sandy patches, typical with that which we encountered on the Mongoliain desert plains in 2013.
Moving toward Erenhot, the long straight roads we drove on disappeared far into the horizon, like a perspective artists vanishing point in a painting rendition.
A couple of ceremonial archways en-route
For the most part there is nothing but road and beautiful rolling countryside.
We then encountered the desert creatures of time past. All types of LifeSize dinosaur creatures cast in what looks like bronze, scattered in fields as though they had never become extinct.
Dinosaurs in the desert. Had to shoot fast to photograph these animals so some shots are a little blurry
Magical and almost realistic.
Under the dinosaur arch int the city of Erenhot, a sort of oasis in the middle of a dry arid desert land lay our destination for the last night in China.
I’ve not said much of the rally and Denise, which is the reason why we’re here.
Denise purred all day. Didn’t miss a beat. We’re using a lot more fuel than we expected, but with local fuel and strong headwinds in the afternoons, could be a reason. We’re also travelling a lot faster, so…
Most of the cars are having a good run but there is a lot of tinkering and repairing and adjusting at the days end.
There is a long way to go and the surface conditions will change dramatically when we enter Mongolia tomorrow morning.
We’re both well, although we’ve not had an alcoholic drink since the start!!
Alls good for now.
Will report the stage results tomorrow.