11th June 2014
Well in my last post I mentioned the M55, the significance of this as many will know, the motorway into Blackpool is called the M55 and I will never call it a bad thing again after traveling on the one in Russia.
After leaving the Russian/Mongolian border we plodded on for about 50km’s and stopped for a cup of tea and some lunch, two big overlander trucks pulled up to talk to us, we had a good look at their trucks and them on ours, the four Guys where from Holland and their trucks were from the 1960’s, the paintwork was like glass. After we chatted for about 45 minutes they left, I took photos as they were leaving (Les will facebook the photos to you guys). We continued about another 100 km then decided to stop on the edge of a city called Darkhan where Plodd had her first makeover (the full Monty, she had to have, after seeing the guys from Holland’s trucks looking so clean!). It took the car wash people 3 hours, she was filthy. Anyway, that night Les cooked dinner on Plodd, it was very good to have fresh vegetables,
The next morning we set off towards the capital Ulaanbaatar not knowing if we would make it in the one-day, or two, or maybe even three days.
The roads/tracks were Plodds biggest challenge to date, they had closed a 20 Km section of the road so we were off road big style. At one point I just stopped dead not knowing whether to go left or right, straight on was not an option as I could not see the track as it just disappeared in front of us to reappear on the other side of the 2 metre drop. I went right and believe me if there had been the option of airlifting Plodd I would have taken it, how Plodd pulled herself up the incline I will never know, I honestly did not think she or any other truck could have the power to get up there, but she did, by which time Les was crying! At the other side of the ravine we stopped to get our breath, (could have done with a Brandy!) I could see in the distance behind us a Mongolian truck heading towards us so I waited until he had passed and followed close behind him all the way until the end of the off road traveling. Watching the truck in front of us twist and turn, at some points we both felt that Plodd was going to turn over she was rocking so badly from side to side.
After this performance of off roading we continued on the damaged road until we reached Ulaanbaatar where we pulled into the Tokyo hotel car park (a well run down hotel). I asked if the hotel would allow us to park and sleep in Plodd. The receptionist and the security guy talked it over, I showed them around Plodd and I could see from the expression on their faces after seeing inside Plodd, that they understood why we didn’t want to stay in the hotel! The deal was done €3 a night. A little later I spoke to the security officer and he charged us an extra one euro to plug Plodd into the power supply, what a treat, we could use the air conditioning.