Friday, 1 June 2007

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

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