Now we are waiting at the Mongolian border, it is 1:00 pm in the afternoon (11 september) and after many formalities we just crossed the Russian border.

It is so beautiful here, just unbelievable. I think we are behind about three days of writing our journal but we had such extreme long days and very short nights.

The day before yesterday we stayed in an decaying hotel, no warm water, but for the rest it was OK, we went to bed at about 7 am and had to get up 9:30 am to resume our journey. That was the day before our last day in Russia. We passed beautifull landscapes, very wide and open with lots of corn fields and lakes here and there. Blog Image

Yesterday we were on our way to our next destination when Arthur got called that ‘de Jongens van de Wit’ (De Wit Boys) team were stranded with a broken Wheel bearing. So we turned around again and brought them their passports which they might need if their car could not be fixed. Luckily the service team was able to repare the problem and they could join us again this morning. Late last night we finally arrived at the camp where everyone had pitched their tent. It was lovely, everyone was sitting around a camp fire, drinking some wine, what else can you wish for. This was the first time we spent the night sleeping in our car, the temperature outside was -5 degrees, we slept wel, we have great mattresses and warm sleeping bags. Pieter arranged this all really perfect I must admit. We sometimes thought back home, what is he doing, we don’t need all of that etc……. but everything we brought and have is what we need. The camping appliances have come to good use as a few times we were still on the road until late and so there were times that we stopped to cook our meal for the night. That also counts for the Goops, Google Earth softwareand gps system, on which he spend heaps of time back at home. It is a big problem to get out of the cities or to find our hotel at night in the dark but with the Goop GPS system we found it all easily. A couple of days the system broke down, just bad luck! Luckily yesterday Pieter got the system working again.Blog Image

So, we just passed the border, we are at around 2000 meters high right now, surrounded by mountains. The road that got us here yesterday went trough the Altai Mountains, it’s wonderful. You think you’re in Austria, villages change from appearances as do their inhabitants, Russians become Kazakhstanians, you constantly have to stop for crossing cows, horses, pigs, everything just walks around and about together. What is noticeable is that we don’t see any drunks walking around here any more. We think that they are much better organized here then in the Russian villages we crossed days before.

We just drove 28 kilometers through ‘no man’s land’ (between Russia and Mongolia), we saw guinea pigs (ground hogs), flew with some speed over potholes with as a result our heads hitting the roof of the car. Large eagles soaring above us in the sky. This morning I woke up in the car and got goose bumps when I looked around me. We shall include pictures of this as I cannot explain in words what we all could see. What I also have forgotten to write about is that from a few nights ago we had to put our clock forward one hour for 4 consecutive nights. In total we now are at a 5 hour difference with the Netherlands and in a while another 2 hours further and then that will be all.