This was our first day of real piste driving. The road around the lake was no problem because we had the lake for orientation. Thereafter we had to rely on the GPS map. There were often several tracks to choose from. Not always was the track we chose the one on the GPS map. The system continuously signalled an alarm and the distance we were away from the “real” track. Since the sand roads change position regularly and every time there was another road, which was more suitable, we ignored the warning. Eventually we managed to get to that one bridge which provided a river crossing or that one village in the wide empty landscape. Along the way we managed to spot some foxes (finally a wild animal) and the usual vultures. In Tsetserleg we dropped in an expatriate run restaurant (Fairfield) for lunch and finally have decent bread. There we met Paula and Marja again after a month. They had crossed through the Altai into Mongolia and were now on their way to Ulan Bataar. After exchanging stories, we visited together the quant local museum, which was in an old monastery before splitting up again. We went further to the west along a beautiful tarmac road.
On the road, driving was like a pothole waltz. You follow the lead of the car in front of you and swirl out to the left or the right to avoid the pothole. The car coming towards you does the same. Unfortunately like with every dance you have to avoid the other dancers and as such still end up in a pothole. Most annoying is it when you are nicely in the swing of things and the car behind you overtakes you in the middle of your move. The words you then utter cannot be repeated.
At the crossing with the Kanui River we set up camp. Two local travellers dropped by the camper and we were pleased to offer them cookies and tea. Finally we can give something back to the people we meet along the way.
The supermarket along the way stocked up quite a variety of food so we can refilled up our cupboard, such as pasta, rice, coffee, tea, cereals, milk, cola etc. as well as frozen meat. Our salad generally consists of cucumber, tomato and onions with occasional luxury add in’s such as apples, boiled eggs, peanuts or olives. Vegetables are mostly cabbage and carrots.
For breakfast Rudy normally takes a cup of coffee with 2 slices of bread (with jam, peanut butter or cheese) while Jamaliah just takes a cup of milk with cereal since breakfast is not her thing.