22-Feb-2005 -- The grand plan is to drive from Mongolia back to Scotland. After working for 3 years in Mongolia the EU technical assistance project has ended. The grand plan came to me one day last summer. I now have a car (shipped all the way from England) and have almost all he paperwork needed to set off. This last CP visit was to check out the car on Mongolian country roads (mud and snow) to check that it behaved.
The same team of four people set off to visit this CP two weeks after Mongolian lunar New Year (Tsagaan Sar). This is an auspicious day for any activity so for the first point of the year we were happy to have chosen this day.
The trip was also a test for the technology – laptop connected to GPS giving updates of our route on to the satellite photo downloaded from NASA. All worked well except screen visibility is no so good in bright sunshine – maybe curtains or a blanket needed! And I didn’t get the moving map to work on the brilliant OziExplorer programme- until I read the instructions later. I sill haven’t cracked how to save images – but that is for another day.
The road from Ulaanbaatar to China is paved for at least 100km from UB. After turning off this road we travelled a further 40km on dirt roads with some snow. The driving was quiet easy and it took just 2 hours to reach the point. Erka followed the GPS arrow all he way and when we go out to do the CP dance we found the car was parked on the spot. The point is on slightly raised ground at 1415 metres so there were good views in all directions. After celebrating with a drop of vodka drunk from a home-made cup (toilet roll cardboard centre and “scotch” tape! – Mongolian know how to improvise), we made the return trip without incident. We and the car are ready for the big one – starting Sunday – hope to catch a few points along the way.