Skip to content

Rocks and Ruin?

August 21st, 2008 · No Comments

Our task for today was to make it the 160 miles to the next "major" town, a distance that would normally take us under three hours on decent roads.The journey ended up taking 8 hours, at an average speed of 20 mph! The roads were unbelievably bad,  sometimes we had to go less 5 mph to prevent damaging the car. The sump guard saw a lot of action, every few seconds rocks the size of footballs were turned to rubble as we smashed them with the underside of the car. Ruts were so deep that they would cause the taxi to become completely beached if we did not drive on top of them.

Our first major obstacle came only 30 miles into our trip when we were greeted by a sign warning us that a bridge we had to cross had been closed. It was for good reason.

At the far end, this gaping hole made crossing impossbile. So TDT was forced to ford its first river. Fortunately it turned out to be quite shallow and with just the right amount of momentum, from Ed, we were able to get back on the road.

50 miles later we had to do it again but this time the river was deep (how deep we could not tell) and much wider.

Again we made it across with no problems.

So on we went, stopping whenever we could find a Mongolian herder to ask directions to Khovd. That amounted to one of us saying repeatedly while pointing in vairous directions, "Khovd?"  "Khovd?" "Khovd?" North? South? East, which way? The Mongolian would point and off we would go.

After about six hours, we came across one of the classic sights of Mongolian. Several Bactrian (2 humped) camels blocked our road. It was a spectacular sight.

Tonight we are staying at the finest and worst hotel in Khovd. Tomorrow we will drive 260 miles, across similar roads to the city of Altai. One other item. We have a tiny oil leak where the engine block joins the transmission. Max says repairing is not an option; just pour in more oil. So we will check tomorrow morning and take with us 2 or 3 extra cans.

Wish us well.

Be Sociable, Share!
→ No CommentsTags: Field Post · Taxi

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Recent Photos
  • Categories

  • Categories

  • RSS Mercy Corps News

  • -->