Day 12: Border camp – Aya ( 470 km )

During the night we were absolutely freezing in our tents. It was -5 which coupled with the strong wind made it feel even colder and difficult to get warm. In the morning, all of the water buckets were not surprisingly completely frozen.
Despite the cold, Mario got up at 05:00 to see whether he could make adjustments to the car in order to find a reverse gear. Although we could now put 1-4 in, we were not yet able to drive backwards. However, before he could get started on this someone asked him whether he could help them put together a brake master cylinder so he worked on that instead.
Our campsite was located close to the border and we left early in order to once again get there for 08:00 which is when the border opened. Our roadbook estimated that it would take us 2 hours to pass the 6 border checkpoints, however it took us 5 hours and we were even one of the earlier cars to make it through. Due to the later than planned start all of the scheduled time trials were cancelled which resulted in the total distance that we needed to cover also slightly decreasing.
Only a few kilometers after crossing the border it was obvious that we were in a different country. For one, there was an old hammer and sickle sculpture only a few kilometers after entering Russia, but most noticeably the condition of the roads had improved. We were pleasantly surprised by just how good the roads were all the way to our hotel in Aya. Driving through the dramatic landscape we were able to fully enjoy it rather than constantly have to watch for the next hole.
Another noticeable difference between Mongolia and Russia was the level of enthusiasm which the locals displayed for the rally. In Russia, hardly a car passed by without a passenger taking photos or the driver flashing his or her lights and waving out the window. Even when we arrived in the evening, the car park was packed with well wishers and car enthusiasts who had travelled to come and see the group arrive. Some had booklets with details of all the competing cars and would ask for autographs from the participants which was a rather bizarre experience.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Day 12: Border camp – Aya ( 470 km )

  1. christof Rusterholz

    YSit gester bin ich au mit dabi!! ich ha dich emal gseh bim armin frick, richterswil vor de abfahrt. ich wünsche eu alles erdänklich glück für d witer fahrt!!

  2. Alex

    Wunderschoene Bilder, tolle Landschaften.!!!!
    Ich wuensche euch viel Glueck und alles Gute aus Equator.

  3. Hey Mario, du bisch a wilda Siach! ….und Noel: grosse Klasse! Da bekommt man wirklich Fernweh! Wünsche euch alles Gute für die weitere Fahrt! Ganz herzlich d’Martina

  4. Alexandra

    Mario, dia Kappa isch eifach super!

  5. Lars Fredrik Berg

    Hello Noele, hello Mario,

    amazing pictures! It looks like your motivation is still at 100% but still I guess you were looking forward to a night that hotel in Aya. I hope the provisional repairs to the Citroen will hold it together all the way home. Keep up the good work!

    Lars

  6. DRL and Deb Luginbuhl

    Hello Noele and Mario — Many thanks for your journal and great photos — You can write a book about this exciting adventure! Sure hope it warms up for you! All the Best — Deb and Dan Luginbuhl

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