14-Jul-2004 -- Most of the Mongolian Degree Confluence Point visits start with a jeep ride from a town in Mongolia.
We started with six campervans (RVs) in U.K. (although only four of them made it all the way to Mongolia) We came via Albania, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Russia and entered Mongolia in the north west at Tsagaannuur. This border crossing was only opened to non-CIS registered vehicles in May 2004 and we think we were only the second group to cross into Mongolia here.
See www.silkroute.org.uk and click on "Siberia 2004" for more details of our journey.
All the "roads" in western Mongolia are actually multiple dirt tracks and their position is not shown accurately on any of the maps we could get in the U.K. before we set off. This made planning a Confluence visit rather difficult. However between Altey and Bayankhongor (about 34km south east of Zadgay) we found ourselves ready to stop for the night and only 3.5km due north of 46N 100E.
The terrain between our camp site and the Confluence Point was definitely for 4x4 vehicles only (unlike 47N 94E). Pat and I managed to drive our Unimog campervan to within about 700 meters of the point and then walked along a dried up stream bed, up a gently rocky slope and found the exact position with our handheld GPS.
The other figures on the GPS give a good idea of the difficulty of driving in western Mongolia in a European campervan (that you want to last long enough to get you back to Europe). As you can see we have travelled only 134km during a 10 hour day with a moving average speed of only 24.4ph. This was typical of our progress from the border to Ulaanbaatar.