We made it to Ulaanbaatar!

At 15:20 on 2004-07-19 we all arrived in Ulaanbaatar and parked up at he Bishrett Plaza Hotel on Liberty Square in the north of the city (47.923332°N 106.907078°E). The hotel charges $8.00USA per van per night including electricity and water (unfortunately they withdrew the offer of electricity after we were connected because of the "risk to their passenger lift", and the water has be carried in buckets through the foyer, it is "impossible" to connect a hose pipe up anywhere, they say.) Still the hotel is fairly central and slightly more secure than parking in the street. Stop Press: You can fill up with water at the Diplomat Hotel next door if you slip the gate man a little incentive.

Maureen and Pat.Just before we entered Liberty Square we spotted a familiar face beaming at us from a roadside cafe. Maureen was in town! (Maureen had originally been driving one of the six vans that started out from Europe but had to return to the UK when her passport went missing in Turkey). Maureen had flown out to Mongolia in time for the Naadam festival, which we had missed, and she intends to return home by train. As Maureen had been in UB for many days before we arrived we had our own guide waiting for us. So straight to the best restaurant to celebrate.

K-Nine gets dusted!Compared to everywhere else we have been in Mongolia Ulaanbaatar is "modern". Lots of supermarkets with western foods and brands. Lots of SUVs (4x4s) with big tyres and extra lights. Lots of cell phones. Lots of girls with short skirts and bare midriffs. The center of UB is a friendly relaxed place with lots of restaurants (The Silkroad Restaurant is highly recommended).

As well as visiting museums, monasteries and restaurants, K-Nine, OJ and Imp have been serviced at the Mercedes garage (Mog has been serviced in the very early morning in the hotel car park). OJ and K-Nine have looked for LPG (Propane) so far in vain. Many of us have been to Internet Cafes. Most of us have been to the launderette.

However the biggest preoccupation has been dust and how to get rid of it! After 2000km of Mongolian "roads" everything is covered in dust. Imagine throwing 10kg of brown talcum powder into your van to get a feel for the scale of the dust problem. OJ's biggest problem area is the cab, K-Nine's is the rear doors and Imp's is well, err, everywhere!

A page of photographs should be uploaded from Ulaanbaatar if an obliging Internet Cafe can be found. A separate page dedicated to Mongolian road conditions, navigation and maps is also planned. If your need for information is urgent contact us directly.

If you want to know about Degree Confluence Points (and you might) see www.confluence.org. We hope we have "bagged" 47N 94E and 46N 100E, but it may be a few weeks before we know for sure.

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2004-07-22