Mongolia Day 1 – 18th November 2015 – Into Mongolia

Mong Stats:
3 hour driving day (post border crossing)

107km of which 20km Dirt Track (corrugated) otherwise mainly tarmac.

Weather: …Dark

Having camped in a Russian lay-by the night before we did not expect to reach Mongolia that day, however the glorious Russian road stretched ahead of us had thawed and we powered onwards to the border.
By 12.30 we reached Tashanta supposedly the last outpost of Russia before the border which in fact turned out to be the border, Russian side at least. Once again the Russians were efficient and with only a few raised eyebrows at the substandard Kyrgyz customs form, we were headed into no mans land by 15.00.
Half of the 30k of no mans land was paved beautifully… the Russian half then we officially entered Mongolian soil:

Hitting the border after the other half (dirt track), before we were able to cross the first of the gates we needed to be decontaminated…? (really it hasn’t been that long since a shower but clearly all five of us were not looking our best!) having paid 100 Russian Rubles to a masked man for a spray that never happened we were waved through the first gate. On the whole the border went off fairly well, the staff were friendly though we got ‘shushed’ a lot for giggling and it was the first time for a long time we escaped without paying any charges, although there was a little running backwards and forwards for missing stamps.
All told, the Russian-Mongol border was a breeze, that or after our 10th (non EU) border crossing we’re finally becoming proper overlanders!
Victorious we emerged, finallly, into the country that was the inspiration for the whole trip, the overlanders mecca, we’d only gone and bloody made it! – if you ignore the 1800k to UB (“road” status unknown).
The first 20k to Tsagaannuur was a glimmer of what may come, dirt track interspersed with hateful corrugations. Still fuelled with elation however, we thrashed out a bumpy 40kmph. Turning south towards Olgii an unexpected vision of tarmac stretched before us and by some miracle remained in place for the majority of the road to that town, where we could find a bed for the night, a tasty meal and some well deserved beers!

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