Thursday, 6 June 2019

In Ulaan bataatar

Following day two we have been in  camp on day three and now in UB last night, end of day 4
Day  3 from Erenhot in China was spent mainly at the border, exiting China not too bad, entering Mongolia a complete and utter shambles, more than three hours to be processed. The people engaged by the Organisers were useless
Heavy snow meant our original route to that nights camp was flooded so we spent more time congregated whilst a new partial route was found and we were convoyed in groups to a point on our original route. After leaving the hotel at 7am we arrived at camp around 6ish, heavy wind and a melted shock absorber rubber which phil replaced whilst Laurette and friends erected our tent
The shocker rubber disintergrated and we banged our way along for the last hour into camp not knowing what the problem was.

Next day was a late strt with several timed speed sections of up to 70 kms on sometimes smooth gravel at 125 kmh and the ditches and many rocky section we had to crawl over at low speed.  We flew through the first section and would have had no penalty but for confusion at the start line where other cars were jumping the queue and we think we left around 30 seconds after we should have.

The next stage we did easily, the Alfa going well.  We use our headphone intercoms on these stages as the engine is revving hard, around 4 to 5000rpm most of the time and rocks and gravel hit the underside of the floor.  Very loud.

The next stage, both of our GPS units went blank at the same time and we got lost, driving over a dried lake bed to rejoin the road. Eventually found our way.

Arrived at UB and parked up. Good dinner at the hotel, at 11 pm last night 15 cars had not arrived.
One car rolled several times after hitting a ditch at high speed. Parts of the car were found 150 meters away.  Only a broken arm and concussion we hear.

The organisation and timing has been a shambles and a real dissapointment and despite being in 14 th place, we believe we should be closer to the top 10.

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