What a story!
I left you without news since Ulan Bataar but since then there was no internet. Now we are in Russia and yes!!! A shower and internet…
You remember the axle broke in China (second day!)… and the second day in Mongolia it descided to abandon us completely . We noticed this arriving in camp 2, so a Mongolian welder was needed, which we found sitting in the grass. We worked on it for 6 hours and you know what… it is still holding on day 11 in Russia. We had a second ‘bridge’ constructed underneath which costed us some ground height, but what the heck. It is now stronger then ever. The bridge was made with pieces from an old truck… We fought our way through the Mongolian desert like every other car and won! There are about 68 cars left in the rally of the 105… All the others are making their way to Novosibirsk on trailers and stuff. The rally is tougher than I remember in 2013, some tracks were elegible for a Dakar… But somehow, Herman and I got trough. We are ever so proud! Auguste Pons never got this far and Paris is becoming a real possibility. But we are not there yet…
The evenings are a blessing for our backs and hands and we enjoy the Mongolian scenery immensly. What a country. The Contal is holding up its promisses and has not broken. A good cup of coffee while we are working every evening is always welcome. We arranged to leave the camp every morning very early and manage to arrive with the rest of the competitors every evening. But it is hard, very hard work.
This morning we passed the Mongolian and Russian borders but the police was not so happy with us passing them without stopping… so we got fined and I had my 5 minutes of Mongolian jailtime. Look at my face!
In the meantime Herman is holding up in the front and his navigating is, honest, flawless! I dont know how he is doing it but he does. I had my first visit to the doctors this morning with a little ‘bobo’ on the knee, nothing serious. The days on the Contal are similar to full days in the gym, something has to give, I was already happy it was only the knee.
We have 556 kilometers to burn tomorrow and then, Novosibirsk is in sight. Another rest day will be a blessing and just in time. The Contal needs a doctor and we need the rest. CU in Novosibirsk!