Day 32 – Border Day – Russia to Mongolia

18 August 2010

High point: Our fixer was a legend but we still didn’t break the Russian border for 8.5 hours. We fully expected to kip down in no man’s land overnight. After the Russian gates opened it was 30 mins before the Mongolian border shut but on arrival it was pretty clear Agi (fixer) knew everyone. The paperwork, passport control, vehicle docs, vehicle inspection and carnet were blitzed in 20 mins and we were through. Amazing. Russia behind us. Mongolia dirt tracks ahead!

Low point: Russian border. Along with 60 other countries, Russia have signed up to a carnet agreement for vehicles to pass through borders. It’s become pretty clear that there is no central control however since all border officials are unaware of this. Russia is massive so this is partly understandable but it’s still frustrating spending hours at the border. And the result of 8.5 hours work by 4 officials was to remove a sticker and pretend we never came. Brilliant.

No point: It’s really cold sleeping in a polythene bag in minus 6

Mongolian word of the day: Mahk (meat)

Authors comments: We woke in the freezing cold. Low temp overnight was minus 6 and our designated campsite was the last place to find sun so we packed up quick time and found ourselves 6th in line for the border. Total border time was 9.5 hours but we ended on a high. It’s my last border and won’t be something I’ll miss.

Our fixer wanted to get back home so we trucked on with him for the 100k to Olgii. We experienced Mongolian tracks for the first time and appreciated the challenge ahead of us. There are no signs and we’re left with a compass and an educated guess at a multitude of dirt tracks to follow – or to make our own.

Agi was a superstar and helped us sort a hotel and we found food at the only remaining restaurant that wasn’t closed in Olgii. The hotel resembled student digs with a long living room and big old leather sofas. Lovely. The crew sat with beers and reflected on the days success.

Over dinner Aggie had offered for us to accompany him to a Nomad camp. He was meeting an eagle hunter who had been a friend for some years and needed to get VoiceOver for a BBC documentary. So plenty to look forward to!


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One Response to “Day 32 – Border Day – Russia to Mongolia”

  1. Greetings from Canada.
    Looking through your photos and lo and behold there is my Brother Peter who is doing a ralley to Mongolia with his wife tash!
    Looks like you guys are having a great time. It is a shame you can’t come through canada. Next time maybe!