27-Feb-2005 -- This is the story of a point and a journey. The journey is from Ulaanbaatar (UB) in Mongolia to Kirriemuir in Scotland, covering 110 degrees of longitude and visiting 15 CPs on the way. A moment of madness last summer led me to decide to buy a car and drive home after 3 years working on an EU funded agricultural technical assistance project. Four Mongolian members of my team all volunteered to join the journey – but in the end only the project driver – Erka – came all the way. Choi came as far as western Mongolia and we were joined by Sylvia as far as the Altai republic in Russia. We also picked up an armed guard in Russia but more of that later!
We set off, well loaded from UB on 27th February. We received a milk as a traditional good luck sign. To hedge our bets we were also given a picture of St Christopher. Between them they did a good job – protecting us from accidents and injuries along the way.
The first point was the nearest unconquered point to UB. The first 200km were easy on the main paved highway. The next 12 hours took us no nearer to Scotland but achieved the CP! The side road was slow going with many snow drifts. The point was 60 kms from the road and lies in a small range of hills. We passed a winter camp with lambs already bleating – a cold start to life. Interesting that lambing in the UK starts at about the same time despite the milder climate.
We passed one valley thinking the point was over the ridge but eventually we returned to the valley and discovered the point easily in the valley bottom. It is always difficult to guess how far away is 2km! We arrived at the point just in time to take photos before dark. After the point we set off back for the main road. During the drive we had to dig ourselves out of snow 3 times – we were beginning to learn that the Freelander has less ground clearance than the UAZ jeep.
The story continues at 46N 102E