Day 11 Khovd Day Off

Oh, this is a funny one – the only ones that have the day off are the cars and that’s because they are all under some state of repairs. The campsite rings with the sound of hammers and drills and a few well chosen words of frustrated mechanics. Fortunately, it is another beautiful day in Mongolia – touted as the “land of the blue sky” – I’m certainly a believer.

For those of you who probably believe we are staying at the Khovd Marriott, Chuck’s tent is on the left and Lloyd’s is on the right. What fun, just like scouting or summer camp.



We had a bit of a problem with the left front suspension as a nut had come off and a pin almost backed out which would have been certain disaster. Lloyd did catch it just in time but it required more than 8 hours of work to get it all back together. Apparently the A arm was bent which made lining things up a major effort – as we remember it, Charlie and Chuck had the same difficulty but they had a lift to work from – hopefully all’s well that ends well. Yes, that’s Lloyd under the car with one of the accompanying mechanics and the head mechanic told us that the damage was not new which makes many things clear. Lloyd did a fantastic job and we are now god as new to continue.

Just so you have a sample of the cars being worked on here, and there are many more at the other end …


Some of the faces who are keeping everyone going. This is the head mechanic Peter Banham and his wife Betty – this is NOT Peter’s first rally like this one nor is it Betty’s.



And then a couple of the course officials – that’s Lee Vincent who is the Assistant Marshal left and Kim Banister right who I promised you a better picture of from yesterday – both extremely nice men.


Now for our brief history lesson for the day, Khovd is the largest city in Western Mongolia and was one of the last cities to be liberated from the Chinese in 19212 and 1921. The city survives on an agricultural economy, food processing plants and some light manufacturing. It also houses the main university in Western Mongolia. Unfortunately, we only got to see the city on our way to the camp site. If what we saw was it, Khovd is nothing more than an enlarged village like we have run into along the way.

Some good news, our friend Garrick Staples arrive with his car on a truck around 2 pm last night. They are now off to find a place for repairs if possible. There is a recommended garage in town but apparently a large number of folks have found their own repair locations as it was just reported that there was no one at the main garage – go figure.

And by the way, despite some minor adversities, we are currently in 6th place in the Classic Category and 3rd place in our Class within the category – just 6 minutes behind the next car.

I’m quite sure the car will be OK now as we will take additional precautions to prevent the problem. I’ve got to get back to work as Lloyd is due back from lunch shortly.

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4 Responses to Day 11 Khovd Day Off

  1. Chad Schwager says:

    Glad to see you are posting again. Adriane and I are loving the daily updates. Glad the car is getting better. We hope the two of you are staying healthy as well. Looking forward to more updates.


    Chad & Adriane

  2. Lisa Tucker says:

    “…we are now God as new…”
    Amen, brothers!

  3. dale murphy says:

    checking on radiator

  4. Mike Towle says:

    Hello Chuck.
    First chance to check in and see what you’ve been up to lately!
    Just spectacular to see the photos and read your blog.
    It is such a joy and a treat to see this part of the world up close and current.
    To see the expanse of land and the shear open spaces must be beyond imagination.
    A true experience of a lifetime.
    Enjoy all of it in its glory.
    I look forward to find out want happens tomorrow.
    Stay the course.

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