Day 10: Chjargas lake to Uureg lake

Day 10 Chjargas Lake to Uureg Lake

Brilliant sunshine from 5:30am so difficult to sleep after that. What a night of storms and wind. Also many people are up doing last minute repairs to their cars and perhaps anxious to head out. I take care of dismantling the interior of the tent, removing air from mattresses etc. and we seem to have a bit of a routine now. Tony starts to loads the car.I had set it up last night, he goes to the tanker or fixes some last minute thing on the car.


Off to breakfast and to receive the final list and route changes. Fermented yaks milk yogurt, we think but not sure. It tastes delicious and it has been pasteurized. This place is such a contrast. Very different from China much more European but still a little Wild West. They are phenomenal horsemen and we see small children, maybe 5 or 6yrs on  bareback horses often tethered by a rope to their parents horse but clearly able to prance with the horse on their own. Herds men easily maneuver the animals, be it horse, cows, sheep or camels.

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We have an 8:13 am start all the time till Russia, having placed 6 th in class and 11 th overall again. We are gaining and much  closer to #23 and #25 cars. Maybe today...haha

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The days starts much the same as usual but they we are told at briefing they have to cancel stage one time trial. The conditions are too bad. So we drive it but do not race it. The trails are really bad and we take it easy. Today we go on Tarmac for 40km in two sets. The first we enter about KM 80. Yippe a reprieve.

Roads just start and stop here . I am guessing that one day they will join them up.

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We enter the road. 10 km in we get a flat tire yikes. We have travelled over the stoniest roughest,rutted roads you can imagine and we go on a perfectly new smooth as a babies bum and we get a flat. This is our third. Tony is convinced it is the weight but why on flat Tarmac.

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 We stop and notice our straps are loose again holding the Jerry cans, we walk around  the car and note two other issues. The grill is loosing its slats. They keep the car warm or cool, more things are falling off. It is the law of attrition, what will be left of our poor Bentley. Tony removes the  2 of them in case they were to fall out completely. Our toothless wonder now drives proudly on. That's when we notice the hissing sound and low and behold the tire is deflating.

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We do the quick change as we watch fellow competitors zoom by on this tarmaced highway. We are the only ones allowed on it. its interesting here you are in the middle of the wilderness, not a soul around you think. there is this new tarmac road and not 5 minutes goes by than a group of herdsmen or people show up. its like they have a six sense. We go as quickly as we can but vow to rid ourselves of the jerry can and water can that Phillip the organizer complains about as terribly unsightly and won't publish our photo because of it.

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Today's drive was magnificent, in the scenery department. Car department not so great. Car is making more and more sounds. We are behind car 25 and car 23. We are quite close to them in time. We seem to be falling into a routine now and we know our start order. Car 25 has two Swiss Germans and chat with, at stops, he wears overalls that say HUG. Its his last name. The other car 23 we don't speak with much. There isn't a group we hang out with we all just muck in . We kind of switch tables each night at dinner. Sometimes with the South Africans sometimes with the Brits and others with what's left of our Canadian contingent.

Another trying and hard day but the lake we stop at is magnificent, its cool but the sun and wind work together to make it quite beautiful.  

The Bentley's all line up for a photo opportunity, there is a island of sand. We park there, what a site, there are some really old ones back to late teens early 20's. They ask us to join, the Bentley boys so we decide after dinner we would move down by the water. We are getting to know more and more people. Two of the Bentley's are owned by a really big guy, an Austrian. We start talking about life etc. he has residency in Monte Carlo and has a number of Clinics. He is an orthopedic trauma specialists. Long story but quite a character. Everyone is very fascinating and are no stranger to adventure.


Next we met another, whose cousin is married to a Hynes in Newfoundland. He's from the Cotswolds. Knows this small town in Newfoundland really well.

Anyway, we head off to bed after a canteen dinner and prepare for a cold night. The winds howl and by 5:30am they are gale force. We are snugly wrapped in our tents, it does its job. This is really wild country. Before sleep we are warned by Millie one of the organizers, that tomorrow will be really cold, we climb to 2500 metres ABL and we better have  a toque and warm clothes on as it will be frigid. 

I hate cold and I'm a Canadian. The group all laugh as they taunt me saying this must be warm for us..HAH!

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Lee-Ann 🏁

Onward and Upward, we go

© Anthony Strelzow 2013