Day 2: Dai Sea to Erenhot

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May 29th

What a long day, left Daihai at 8:25am exactly and headed Towards Erenhot. The border town of Mongolia and China. 

Today we continue not to have signal lights, which doesn't matter since the Chinese never use them and don't obey any rules of the road. It is sometimes frightening. This is definitely not a car culture. There is no history of cars and many have clearly learned to drive later in life with no idea how the roads or rules would make it much safer.

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We had a motorcycle drive right out on to the highway in front of us and just stop. We are driving a 1936 Bentley super heavy poor brakes that does not stop on a dime. Tony twisted and turned to avoid hitting her. She was oblivious. People just walk on the street and don't look. Not only do the dogs cross which is sort of expected but people seem to wander along the street. You have to be so vigilant it is exhausting for the driver and the co driver who can't relax trying to anticipate.

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We had a cow jump onto the road, Tony blasted his horn just as he was to run in front of our car. It slowed him only minimally and he ran directly behind us in the end. WHEW!

Trucks with haystacks, trucks with bricks, trucks with gravel and trucks with rocks, teeter along roads with stuff falling out behind them. Add that to the poorly finished holey roads and it is a disaster waiting to happen. If it wasn't so scary it would be funny. When cars stop groups congregate around the car and want to touch everything. One car had to have a piece welded  a Triumph, due partly to yesterday's roads. They opened their truck and voila, they literally had to hold on to things as the crowd wanted to touch everything. Not steal it, just touch it.

We made all checkpoints today and the Timed trial got cut due to slow progress on side roads. They are full of huge trucks which slow you down. Then...

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No lunch break today. The town had closed, don't ask, I don't know why. It was to be the end of the TC or time control but had to be nixed.

Roads improved tremendously by the afternoon, we got to drive a brand new one, although we still remained vigilant.

Some towns are rich some are dirt poor, some are sowing their crops in the field by hand other towns have cinemas and luxury items and you can't tell why one verses another would have an advantage, they can be 10 kms apart.

I drove today, and other than a mother and child just walking out in front of me, my drive was pretty uneventful. Had a motorcycle just drive in my lane going the opposite way. The car steering is exhausting. It is a bit like trying to drive a tractor, it has a huge steering wheel and unless you are moving it just won't turn. My shoulders and back are quite sore after three hours of fairly straight semi highway driving. I needed to get my arms broken in and since I hadn't driven the car since England a year ago I didn't want to destroy anything by lack of experience, I can only imagine how sore Tonys arms and back must be. Driving in China takes a bit of getting used to, forget the crazy drivers, try driving a right hand drive on a opposite driven road. No signals and really poor side mirrors and no review mirror because the car is so full of stuff.

Oh yes we are considering throwing out.  We have just too much stuff.

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Drove into Erenhot about an hour ago. Neat town quite modern lots of things to do and the sky is so blue. What a contrast to Beijing. We cross tomorrow into the Gobi desert so can't post till we hit UlanBaatar. Hopefully our GPS works. We just got notice that the Yellow brick tracking will definitely not be permitted by the Chinese government. They were refused for security reasons, so sat in customs for the last 10 days. We will all be refunded our $800.00+ dollars.

It is worth coming here just to see the Dinosaurs, really great photo Op.

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Having a blast

Lee Ann 

Lee-Ann 🏁

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© Anthony Strelzow 2013