The Blue Beast – Back on Track

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Ulaanbaatar (UB) is such a charming city – it’s developing fast, missing a certain context, people seem lost (many are drunk) but everything just ‘goes’. It has a good atmosphere, fresh streets, proud people, good food, international characteristics and a clear sense of culture/style. We loved being in UB two years ago and we were as happy being there again this time.

We met up with Haldi, our new Mongolian friend (introduced to us by Floris – thanks again, Floris!!), over the weekend. He was on the road with us for two days arranging a new air-conditioning for the car (this included a stop at the ‘Car Doctor’, where we did a thorough test of the car which it passed after changing a battery again…. the Auto Plaza and the ‘Black Auto Market’). He also helped us to get a local SIM-card with 3G-service and translated anything for us whenever we needed it. He did an amazing job – we just couldn’t get it done to take him out for dinner. Now there is the reason for a third visit to UB in the future!

So now the Beast had been checked by Chinese (numerous) and Mongolians over the past days and weeks and everything seemed to be solved – three new batteries, a new generator, a new radiator, a new fan-coupler, fresh oil, a new air conditioning and a new tire…. I think we learned a lot about this car and besides the fact that everything works now, we’re getting more comfortable knowing what to do ourselves if anything happens again on the way. So yes…. the Beast and we were very ready to leave UB and enter ‘the wild’.

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We left UB in a western direction where fortunately we still had paved road. It took some time driving out of the city (as it was driving into the city), but once we left the outskirts behind us the emptiness started again. It is amazing – so much space, blue skies, green hills and herds all around. The road had quite some bad parts, meaning we had to leave the main road and drive off-road besides it – testing our Beast if it was really ready for it. And it was… almost…. as we noticed we were loosing air from one of the tires. In a little village (read: two houses of which one was a garage) along the road we stopped and asked a friendly local Mongolian if he could maybe repair the tire. Of course he could!

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On our way again, realising that bad roads actually have great influence on the amount of km’s that you can drive in a day, haha. Where it took us an hour for 100-110 km earlier, it took us double now. That’s why we decided to deviate from our initial plan to drive to Tsetserleg in one day and stopped at the very first Ger-Camp we saw along the road that looked like a fairytale!! ‘The Bright Rock’ was the name of the camp. Lovely, friendly people that spoke English. There were hot showers, a restaurant and the fire in the Ger was lit. It felt great staying in a Ger again, we also enjoyed that a lot last time we were in Mongolia. The views and surroundings were breathtaking and we slept like babies.

Rise and shine on Wednesday June 18th (Holland – Australia match this evening) – after the hot shower (which was hot, but hardly a shower) we left to Tsetserleg where we read about a hotel managed by foreigners. We thought they MUST have TV and normal food and drinks…. But first some km’s to drive on a road that was getting worse and worse, but views getting better and better. On the way we passed by an old monastery, got fuel and made a coffee-stop. In the beginning of the afternoon we arrived at Tsetserleg. The hotel was not really what we expected (we found two bibles on our room and yeah…. we knew enough) – no TV, no beer, no happy people. So we are hoping on a good Internet-connection in order to follow the match online. Hup Holland Hup!!!

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One Response to The Blue Beast – Back on Track

  1. Watson

    Now it’s Mirian to be the writter~

    As most parts of your car were fixed and replaced, persumably there would be some excessive overspeding than your budget, wouldn’t there?

    Keep going, blue beast!

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