Friday, 16 August 2013

The Edge of the Border

Due to our late arrival into Barnaul we didn’t get to a restaurant until 10:30pm and didn’t get our food until gone midnight. So by the time we finished up and got to bed it was very late indeed. which after a full days driving through unknown Russian locations is rather exhausting.

Then at the crack of dawn Jess is telling me to wake me up so that we can get an early start! I honestly don’t know how she does it. We both have the same amount of road time, we both get to bed at the same time, but every morning Jess is raring to go without fail. Now its not that I’m losing enthusiasm for the trip but as the weeks clock up I am wishing more and more for an extra hour under the duvet. However, three coffees later and I was up, washed and in the car ready to make it to the Mongolian border.

Today was always going to be a big day as it is over 500 miles from Barnaul to a town on the Mongolian border. Fortunately for us though, the Russian roads were up to the fine standard that had been set during our previous outings in Russia, and more importantly the scenery was some of the best we have seen yet, so we remained in high spirits.

Beautiful winding roads hugged the snow topped mountains as we followed the rivers higher and higher up towards the Mongolian border. We passed cute little tourist mountain towns where people were kayaking and white water rafting. As we got further up the mountains we started to pass more local villages with shepards herding their flocks of cattle or sheep.

Despite the scenery it was a long drive and we only stopped to change drivers and once to treat ourselves to a pot noodle next to the river.

As the sun set we were still driving but by 10pm we had made it to the border. Unfortunately the border was closed but is due to open again at 9am, so we found ourselves a little rest house owned by a local family.

Its really rather cozy so we should sleep well, and hopefully get the border process sorted early tomorrow morning.

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