Day 6: Ulaan Baatar – Bulgan ( 343 km )

This morning we lined up our cars along the side of the main square in Ulaan Baatar in order to receive the mayor’s welcome speech. At the same time in another corner of the square the city’s marathon was about to start.
The day’s drive took us west, away from the sandy conditions that we had experienced prior to UB and into the grasslands. For the first time since Beijing we saw a lot of animals. Although we had expected to see yaks, surprisingly we didn’t pass any, but instead our paths crossed with horses cows, goats and sheep. The animals had a tendency to gather around large puddles that had formed by the sides of the roads and didn’t leave when we would drive past. On a number of occasions we had to wait for animals who were crossing the road at their own pace and did not appear to hear the repeated sounding of the horn.
As a result of the grassier conditions there was also hardly any dust which was a welcome change to the night of camping we had done prior to Ulaan Baatar. We were also glad that the wind was not as strong and that the temperature was slightly cooler.
At one point we had to stop for fuel and a number of other competitors must also have chosen the same petrol station as a group of locals had gathered there. Whilst we were waiting to fill our tank the young boys would dare each other to touch our exhaust which was very hot! They found it very funny whenever someone touched it for slightly too long or they could convince someone new and unsuspecting to feel it.
We didn’t experience any difficulties today until about 200 m in front of the camp. Suddenly it was no longer possible to shift gears or find any gear at all. Mario was able to manually put first in so that we could get into camp and look at what had gone wrong from there. He discovered that a pin out of the gearbox linkage had fallen out. It was still in the undertray so it could be fished out and fitted back into position. Although it took a while to fix, luckily this very minor compared to the problems some of the other cars experienced. During one of the time trials a VW Beetle rolled over causing a lot of damage to the car. Luckily the drivers had installed a roll cage so they remained unharmed, but because of the condition of the car decided to pull out of the rally.

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One thought on “Day 6: Ulaan Baatar – Bulgan ( 343 km )

  1. Was für fantastische Fotos: Tiere auf der Strasse und all die anderen Sujets. Einfach super! Für mich ist das Lesen des Tagesberichts auch gleich an English lesson. Und zudem ist es auch noch sehr interessant geschrieben. Weiter so und viel Vergnügen. Muss ein angenehmes Gefühl sein, den “weltbesten Mechaniker” an Board zu haben.

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