Sunday 29th September 2002.
7:00. We all set off from our overnight camp site (about 35km passed Mangkang/Gartog in Tibet at N29.59754 E98.33242). The French going on first, as they are quicker than us.
8:00. We reach 12,141 feet.
8:05. We find the French stuck in the mud. We used this time to have a coffee break and help clear mud. The French towed each other out of the mud. Maureen found she had not secured a bucket of water, which had tipped over and soaked everything.
8:30. We were all ready to move on.
8:55. 12,638 feet. The roads are unmade and absolutely appalling, deep ruts, large rocks, landslides overhanging rocks, large puddles (never know how deep or what is lurking in them) and mud everywhere.
Kon-Tiki says over the CB they have just heard a bang. They stop and find their front tyre has a huge gash. Tyre is changed at the side of the mountain road on rough uneven ground.
During this time Pat found a jar of coffee has spilt in a damp cupboard and had stuck to everything.
9:50. Tyre is now changed and we can all set off again. Large bus appears and we all find difficulty pulling off the road to let him pass.
10:20. Lorries gone we can now move on.
Scenery is stunning when we get a change to look, hardly daring to take our eyes off the road.
10:30. We now wait for 3 more lorries and a road grader.
10:40. River across road, K-Nine scraped the bottom so we level it with rocks for the others. All across safely but Womble lost half a bumper.
10:55. We were again on our way but Mog immediately says over the CB to Kon-Tiki to stop. There is a stone stuck between the twin back wheels and it was quite an effort to release it.
11:10. We are on our way again.
11:30. Muddy, swampy, wet area, we stop to level it and then have to wait for lorries, jeep and bus to pass.
11:40. On the road again.
12:00. Lunch stop.
12:40. On our way again. At this point we have only achieved 42 km.
12:50. Kon-Tiki stuck in mud. Mog towed them out backwards; Les heard a nasty bang. Mog now towing forwards. Noise is checked out, but nothing is found.
13:05. Rutty, muddy area, stone removal. Kon-Tiki found a stone is making the noise; it is stuck between the sump and the sump guard. Les removes sump guard to remove stone.
13:40. A car stops and informs us that the French are stuck in mud 3km up the road. Mog goes to assist.
13:50. On our way. Get message on the CB not to go any further.
14:20. Mog returns, the French have had a disaster, Roger's van slipped in mud and is hanging off a bridge. It is suggested we all park and wait. The mud is dreadful. Mog returns to turn around and go back to tow out Roger's van. When the French are all parked up the other side of the mud, Mog returns to tow the rest of us one at a time through all the mud about half a kilometre. K Nine gets towed and slides sideways into a large heap of gravel and has to be dug out by anyone available.
15:50. We all decided to drive on, as it is still early and so many miles to cover.
16:15. More road levelling to do. The roads have been the worst we have ever been over. Constant stopping for moving rocks. Very slow progress as the road is very slippery and so many obstructions and delays.
17:30. At a height of 15,733 feet we stop for the night (about 100km passed Mangkang/Gartog in Tibet at N29.72499 E98.05804). We are informed that the next suitable place large enough for the 7 vans, could be 20 km away and that would take 1.5 hours at our current rate of travel and it would soon be dark. In the morning the temperature was 1.4 Celsius and it was snowing.
End of Day Statistics.
Travelling time 10:30 hours
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