Day 6 Ulaan Baatar to Kharakorin

We began the day with a big sendoff from the people of Ulaan Baatar – all cars moved to the square in front of the City Hall … a beautiful building left over from before the Russian occupation.

The ceremonies came complete with a marching band – the funny thing was that only about 80% of the people actually played the instruments – the rest just added numbers – but they did a great job.

 

Then we had real authentic Mongolian music with instruments like you have never seen. While very different from ours, their music is quite nice but rather high pitched.

 


The start for the day was delayed 30 minutes in order to let the Mayor of Ullan Baatar come join the festivities but I can’t remember him actually saying anything. On the other hand, Phillip Young, our rally organizer, said some very appropriate words which were translated by the woman on the left . Apparently, Phillip is not shy around a microphone – not his first rodeo.

Finally off after a 10 minute wait at a traffic light with a policeman directing traffic – that was an actual 10 minutes as we were clocking it. The traffic in Ullan Baatar is just awful and while we were waiting to leave we met a police colonel in charge of traffic who absolutely agreed with us. A very nice older gentleman with a big job to do.

Once out of the city, the country side is just beautiful. The cattle, horses, sheep, cows and goats just seem to roam freely, sometimes with a shepherd and other times unattended and needless to say, they do not understand roads or automobile. You must be careful as these animals are major assets of the people who are clearly very poor. The other day we came upon a heard od sheep, some sleeping in the road, in a Time Trial – blew our very loud horn and they all scrambled – lots of tails bobbing – wish I had gotten a picture of that.

 

The towns, if you could call them that are very small and poor. When the Russians left here, they took everything of any value and it will take years for this basically agrarian country to evolve – in the mean time, it is certainly a very large unspoiled country.

 

 

The vistas are very spectacular reminding me of the western prairies …

 

Then we came the start of today’s Time Trial – only one today – very unusual. Always a crowd around the start even after sorting everyone by category and fastest time. Makes for a lot of confusion at the start to say nothing of overtaking a slower vehicle in a cloud of dust. Lloyd does a great job of finding a place to pass when it seems like no one exists. Unfortunately, today we got on the wrong track shortly after the start and when trying to get back to where we belonged, we got hund up in the sand. Some of the other competitors helped get us straightened away – partially because we were blocking the track but mostly because of the comradely.

 

 

Then we have the Passage Controls which you just have to stop and have your time card stamped that you were there – much more laid back than the timed sections. These guys who work the rally are tireless and I’m sure not paid but what an adventure.

 

 

Sort of like the endless road and what a view – just spectacular …

 

 

And then there are monuments all over out in the middle of nowhere. The ones on the left were too far away to see what they were but the one on the right is an Ovoos which are placed in mountain passes as offerings to local spirits. If you arrive at an Ovoo (with enough time to spare) you should walk around it 3 times and throw an offering, like a stone, on the pile then make a wish. WE haven’t tried that one yet but who knows.

 

Then we came on this shepherd on horseback who, when he saw us, came over to the road, tied up his horse and came over to talk with us all in Mongolian of course. He understood we were from America but not much else, however, we gave him a card with a picture of the car and he went away like he had won the lottery.

 

The day ended with a line waiting for gas – what a surprise. You would be amazed how long it takes to fuel 100 cars plus all the support vehicles. Patience is a definite requirement for this adventure. We are staying in a Ger tonight – same to a Yert– I don’t think Marriott has a presence in the Mongolian countryside just yet but they are much better than sleeping in a tent on the ground – that comes tomorrow.

 

 

More to come …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to Day 6 Ulaan Baatar to Kharakorin

  1. Elaine says:

    Dad,

    It all has sounded amazing so far….but nothing more amazing than you talking about how patient you need to be! How are you REALLY handling this???? Keep up the safe travels.

    Love you!
    Elaine

  2. D'Ieteren Roland says:

    Message for Lloyd Dahmen from Roland : please contact me on my mobile in order to
    arrange our appointment in Paris on October 17.
    Good luck !

  3. Hi Guys,
    Reads like you are still having fun and speaking to each other. Noticed someone wearing something that resembles a ski Jacket in one of the pictures. What is the temperature where you are now?
    Peter

  4. Larry Fredette says:

    Okay guys, when asked to maybe give an offering to an Ovoo, remember how easy it can be getting stuck in the sand. Wikipedia says …..”When travelling, it is custom to stop and circle an ovoo three times in clockwise direction, in order to have a safer journey. Usually, rocks are picked up from the ground and added to the pile. Also, one may leave offerings in the form of sweets, money, milk, or vodka”. Hopefully you guys have some vodka left. Be safe!

  5. Great blog! I’ve really enjoyed all of your photos and commentary. I’m running the blog for Fritz and Lang – No 19. Would you mind if I borrowed photos with Fritz and Lang for our site? (I see they’re in the pic of cars in line for gas.) I will of course link back to your blog with anything I take. Thanks!
    ~Kristine

  6. John Welch, Susan Welch, and Melinda Donovan says:

    We’re all having dinner on Wednesday, 9/15, and are checking your progress. Everything seems to be going well and we wish you good fortune.

  7. John Bryson says:

    Good luck to you both. Thanks for the web site and the photos. My boys, Gerry and Matt, seem to be too busy to take photos but then I guess the Holden doesn’t ride like a Caddie. Caddillac, aren’t they something almost as good as a Buick? I find this technology incredible so that I sit in my office and watch you guys covering a lot of rough ground at a considerable rate of knots. As I said, good luck and I think you are doing very well in a horrible terrain.

  8. Adam cain says:

    Chuck we are keeping an eye on you from the “Loose”, what a cool event.

  9. carol Pfaelzer says:

    Hi! My favorite place in the world is Mongolia-loved sleeping in the gurs before watching the total eclipse on the Russian border. The local ponies are fun to ride if you get a chance. The Mongolian children were a pleasure to wave to -they smiley and red cheeked.In the capitol the driving IS horrendous. They go too fast. We witnessed an accident where man hit a student,hands full of books. He stopped,picked up pieces of the car that had disengaged from the chassis lying on the ground with the severely injured girl. After the car parts were thrown in the car,the driver and the girl’s friend picked her up ,placed her in back seat of car and roared off.

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