9 hour driving day
458k (180k tarmac then 278k good quality track, X1 River Crossing)
Having met a helpful British chap in Chowd who had given us an idea of the road to come, 200km paved followed by 200km unpaved we predicted 2 days to reach our next town, Altai.
Happily for us the unpaved road turned out to be a smooth gravel precursor to tarmac and by 15:00 it was looking like we would make Altai in a single day, then this appeared…
After discovering that our newly purchased (and for this purpose) wellies would be totally submerged in the icy water we took a stroll down the river of ice to look for an easier crossing point. Luck was with us and our now rather experienced ginger river crossing minion took to the wheel sailing across with record ease. Unperturbed we ploughed on to Altai making it to a very nice little hotel (Taigam Tal) with a very sweet hostess by twilight.
Mongolian food has been very very pleasantly surprising after stories of fatty testicle stews, we were prepared for anything but so far it has been delicious and we have almost always won the menu roulette (understand that all menus are in Mongolian, often with no pictures, so generally you find out what they have, point and hope). That night we subjected our lovely waitress to various farmyard impressions in a futile attempt to solve a dispute over whether our dinner was beef, mutton or other…..
All told, a great day.