16th June 2014
Well yesterday I emailed Johanna and Michael one of the couples that we are going to cross China with to ask when they thought they would arrive at the Chinese border, that is where we planned to meet them. They said they were in Ulaanbaatar at this moment, so lets meet for dinner, so at 8pm (20.00) we went for dinner and had a good chat about the ups and downs of both our trips. Also yesterday we got an email from one of the other couples Trevor and Monika saying they were also in Ulaanbaatar, so today we are going to move from our salubrious surroundings of the Tokyo Hotel car park and go and park up where the others are. The strange thing is none of us have ever met each other and Johanna, Michael, Trevor and Monika are staying at the same place, apparently there is a part of Ulaanbaatar city that most overlanders head for, we would have known that if I had not left our Lonely Planet Guide for Mongolia in some coffee shop somewhere in Russia before arriving in Mongolia.
There are not many days left now before we will be setting off for the Chinese border ready to cross into China on the 30th June. I think it will take us 4 or 5 days taking it steady to cross the rest of Mongolia including the Gobi Desert, we are so looking forward to the sites that China has to offer, The Terracotta Army and The Great Wall of China and many many more.
We are also looking forward to seeing Gizzy, Dam, Fray, Bentos and little Lucky the dogs at our home in Thailand this is the longest that we have ever left them.
17th June 2014
Yesterday evening we got an email from Mrs. Spring saying that there could be a problem crossing into China, in the recent past there has been explosions at the train station and market in Xinjiang, because of this permission to enter China may be delayed. She goes on to say that she does not think it will affect us but she will not know the outcome until about 20th June, 10 days or so before our allotted date of entry, so we have got our fingers crossed.
We did move on to where the others were parked up, it is called Oasis and is a small but nice place with nice clean facilities, eg: showers, toilets, small café and washing machine, but no 240v supply. It was good to meet all the others, Johanna and Michael are going to be setting off today and are heading in the general direction of the border doing a little off roading I think.
18th June 2014
Last night using the Ulaanbaatar transport system again we went into the city and ate at a Restaurant called the Jazz Club. The music was great and the food was OK but no lift back this time, but the owner did call us a taxi and escort us to the taxi door to say goodbye, giving us a loaf of Arminian bread to take home, which turned out to be delicious!
In the day today we stayed at Plodd tiding, cleaning and rearranging the storage area at the back of Plodd yet again, ready for moving on. Just as Trevor and Monika were leaving their drive belt snapped so I helped Trevor replace it then they left.
We did go back into the city last night and ate in Restaurant California again food was good yet again and then a taxi back to the Oasis.
I think we will make a move tomorrow possibly back to the Tokyo hotel, although it is not a terribly nice hotel we get 240v, that does not bother us as we have everything we need on Plodd and the hotel is very convenient and easy to get into the city from.
19th June 2014
Today we have planned to go to the Laos embassy to get our Laos visa. We don’t really need to get them here but it would speed things up at the Laos/Chinese border for us if we already have them instead of applying for them at the border.
Well that did not go terribly well! We have traveled through 24 different countries without two many problems but we could not find the Laos Embassy in Mongolia and we had a map with it on. We have had it confirmed by many experienced overlanders not to believe the maps of Mongolia and our satnav will not work here. Another thing about Ulaanbaatar is the weather, one day we have the aircon on full in Plodd and the next (like today) we have the heating on full blast, speaking to Michael that headed off two days ago the weather ahead is getting hotter.
Also today I have rewired the radio so we have now got music again in the cab and the cabin.