This was to be a 456km trip beginning at Sukhbataar square in Ulaanbaatar showing off the vehicular machinery to all the towns folk. We prepared to be at the starting gathering at 8.00am and our start time was 10.35am.
In the square in Ulaanbaatar ready to roll
Before we started, we experienced an electrical fault that affected the navigational instruments. An intermittent problem that we just couldn’t locate. After much frustration to find the fault it seemed that it was the earth wire that was a little loose.
We got underway on time braving the local traffic. If you think Auckland or Tauranga is bad, think again. To add to the bustle is the continuous tooting of horns. Pushing and shoving for position, just push in.
We made our way out of the city and the traffic eased. Then the Garmin GPS’s both failed again simultaneously. As we headed forward on a long inter, I tried to get the things going again to no avail. The batteries didn’t fire the units up, nor did the car electrical input. Cleared the batteries out to relocate the card and reinsert. No luck.
Then tried agin with the units batteries in place, and one came alive the other stayed dead.
So on we went with one GPS unit sort of working and then loss of power. This went on for some 50kms. At last and after the off road run began it came on again but not properly. So we followed other cars dust for direction for a time.
The ride was rough! The roads were hard and the surface dusty and potholed and really just terrible. The car rode as well as could be expected and she bounced hard and high. Steve drove hard and kept up the pace to meet the time deadlines. He did a superb job, as most of us would have slowed under these conditions. But he built the car and knows the limitations. Denise did perform. Credit to the hard yards Steve put in over the past 8/9 months.
Then one of the GPS came back on for no reason and stayed on for the rest of the journey. As did the other unit. It became so much easier from then on navigation wise.
The pressure of making sure, under speed to follow the route correctly is quite something. But we made the camp, albeit some 10 minutes late, within the no penalty deadline.
The car is just amazing to hold together under these road and driving conditions. As soon as we hit tarmac, not a rattle. Terrific.
The rolling countryside in Mongolia. It’s something to behold. Agriculture is coming on strong here and there’s hundreds of thousands of hectares
The rally has had its casualties due to the road conditions, and another vehicle rolled today. No one hurt and from the look of the car it’s still drivable. Hope so.
Officials said that some 14 cars have now left the competition for one or other reasons. So it’s tough and rough.
Camp three. Not as nice as last nights but we’ll set out and a nice camp site
The camp is in a huge open grassy valley, like you could imagine a ranch on North America. The Nomad camp setup is just great. Food that is better than hotel food. Dinner was on at 8.00 and bed in a tent at 9.00 is welcome.
Again it difficult to take photos enroute except when there’s tarmac so the few I’ve got are all but they are interesting.
Waiting at a time Control and more arable land
At the start from camp 3
Refueling at camp 4. And parked up for the night