Friday, 1 June 2007

Day 6 1st June Ulaan Baatar Rest day.

Dear All
I have had a lovely day.
Last night I checked the car over. Oil, water, suspension nuts and bolts. Air filter.
Tyre pressures, wheel bearing and streering movement. All ok.
So this morning I downloaded some photos for Steve from Enersol for their website on our progress.
Washed my really dusty clothes. Last washing day until Day 12 Bijsk in Russia. Pamela wrote emails to steve.
I then serviced the Halda, chatted to different people about their cars and ours.
I have found that the rear axle is hitting the exhaust pipe where it loops over and moved the brake pipe to the back side of the axle, rather than it being near the top. I will keep an eye on this.
Sorted munchy food so its more easy to get to. Mum your fruit cake is just fantastic.
Liz and I went cashmere shopping and then supermarket shopping all within a very short walk from the hotel.
Just came back from a reception held by the Mongolian government for us.
I spoke with Robin & Caroline, in a Bentley, Thanks for your best wishes Andrew.
There was not much I could eat, but I enjoyed chatting to different people and how their day was going.
The next time I write will be in Russia, hopefully on day 12.
So speak to you soon.
We have to be in the Square for 7.15am. with speeches at 7.30.
Just one time trail tomorrow of 10 mins.
Continue to look at the official website and our Sponsor's
It looks like you have to have problems to get a mention on the offical website, so I'm very glad we are not.
Love to you all.
Love Nicola xxxx

Try - your fast, personalised homepage with all the things you care about in one place. in one place.

Day 5 31st May Sainshand to Ulaan Bataar

Hi All
Driving from Saidshand camp site to Ulan Baatar. Non competitive run, instead of 2 timed sections. I drove 12kms from our camp site to the Main Time Control of the day. I achieved my goal of driving in the Gobi Desert today.
It was a great challenge for me. I found it tough going but as Pamela said she would not have got in the passenger seat if she didnt think I could do it.
Every bump and knock you think there will be something wrong with the car.
I was very slow, but I had driven a little and I didnt get stuck in the soft sand.
We started at 9.55am and nothing today would be timed.
We saw some amazing views. and as we came near to Ulaan Baatar the grass got greener and we saw trees for the first time in ages.
Today was a test for the fuel tank... We have a 20 Gallon tank in our boot which was made by Concept Racing in Hereford.
He has done a very good job, as lots of people are having problems. The really test was did we have enough fuel to get to the designated re fuelling station, yes. We stopped to ask if car 11 was ok. He needed more Gasoline. Unfortunately I hadn't filled the 10 litre can, so couldn't help.
We are very conscious of our weight and will only fill this when we have our longest day driving without a fuel station for 375 miles.
So after 300km of gravel tracks, which were better than Day 4, we had 100 kms of Tarmmac driving and the route book read something like .... Level crossing 46 kms, level croosing 121 kms
In Ulann Baatar they drive slightly better than in Beijing, but still dont really know how to use roundabouts.
We washed our hands and faces and went straight for dinner. Again lovely, a little more english and my smoach is liking that.
I've recovered, but I hear others have not, so quickly.
Sat down to dinner with Liz & Simon from Devon, Car 113, 1965 - Citroen 2CV6 and Mick and Andrew from Brisbane, OZ in Car 115, 1958 - Holden FC.
Hotel for Day 5 & Day 6 nights.
Love Nicola

Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail. Windows Live Mail.

Day 4 May 30th.

Dear All.
Well what can I say about day 4. It has to be our toughest yet.
We crossed the chinese border into Mongolia.
We spent 2 hours going through Chinese customs and about 30 mins or less at Mongolian...
After this there was about 2 kms of tarmac then... the Gobi desert ahead of us... This is what I came for. This is what I wanted to experence. Was it what I had expected? Not sure.
Pamela drove and I navigated. I'm getting the hang of using the GPS system.
We were told this is your life line in Mongolia, trust it. So we did.
I didn't let Pamela follow anyone else if I thought they were going off route.
We had some really bumpy terrain, lots of soft sand & hard sandy tracks that seemed like your teeth would rattle out.
We pushed different cars we came across, stuck in sand (although we didn't get majorly stuck this day, our time would come).
We had out first Time Trial. The target time was 96 mins, we did it in 66 mins.
We had our dust masks on, but windows down, so the car is filled with sand and grit.
Em your goggles are coming in very handy. Thanks.
I dont think I've eaten quite so much sand.
Our final time control (MTC) of the day we were supposed to be there at 16.33 we got there at 19.41. over 3 hours late.
Since we have found out they have not included the MTC of the day into the results and we are 4th in class 5 and 5th overall in the Classic category. Its along way to Russia let alone Paris.
After this time control the weather was changing - here began the biggest sand storm in the world, well thats what you feel like when your in a car trying to navigate your way through on tracks that are hardly there in the first place.
I didn't even consider what a sand storm would be like when your in a car driving by the compass on your GPS.
We got to the fuel station in Sainshand, still blowing and hence forth started waiting in a Perking to Paris Rally car queue for fuel. I think its was around 3 hours until we left for the Campsite.
We arrived safe and sound. Ate a lovely meal prepare by Nomads Travel company. soup of potatoes and carrots. a piece of beef. a whole carton of apple juice between Pamela & I, bottle of water.
Nicky Banister told us it would be an easy day's driving tomorrow to Ulaan Baatar, as they didnt have any marshals or ambulance. At this stage we didn't know the ambulance had rolled. They are both ok, but the van is not.
Put up tent and slept very well, but to be woken up by the rain at 6am.
I decided it would be good to take the tent down before it rained to much, so we got up earlier than we wanted.
Sorry to those of you who saw the official website that 30 crews spent the night in the desert, and worried, we were lucky.
Love Nicola xxx

Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail. Windows Live Mail.