Monday, April 21, 2014

Mission Trip, Days 9 & 10

The last day! Let me reverse things and start with the last member of our team, Tyyla.

Tyyla is 25 and became a believer in her late teens. She ministers in a church working with teenagers. I would describe her as prone to daintiness, very expressive in her speech, and susceptible to being teased as the youngest in our team. She has a very pleasant and bright spirit.

Okay, the plan for our last day was to "leave" at 5. I clarified whether they meant "Mongolian time" or "German time", and the answer was Mongolian time. Which mean that just before 5 we awoke to a soupy breakfast, before discovering that one tire appeared to be flat. This wheel was changed. Then around 6am we drove out of town, about 30 mins, before we had two flat tires. We had to leave the car running at this time in order for us not to free. Someone managed to get a little bit of reception on their mobile, which was miraculous in itself, and so they phoned back to Ikh Yyl. Bagii came out in a taxi after some time, and Davkaa got back in the taxi and took 3 tires with him into town. We waited, a long time, and the sun came up. We even took a walk to get some photos near some camels.

Looking for a signal


It was after 11 before we set out again. I estimate we made it another 20 mins down the road before we had another flat. This time the wheel was removed, and the inner was taken out and swapped, then reinflated. At least the countryside was beautiful. Again we set off.

We made it to Цахир around 3pm and had some lunch and a lie down. Then we drove continuously all the way to Цэцэрлэг, where we arrived around 10pm. This was welcomed by all. Except they couldn't find a suitable place to stay. And we got another flat tire in town. There was some discussion about staying at the guest house that our Australian friends operate, but it was decided that this was too expensive. Also we needed to get tires fixed. There was a lot of driving around. Badril is from Arkhangai and at one stage we had three different types of police escorting us around. 

Eventually, at 12:30, we drove out of Tsetserleg, and we tried to stop at a few places nearby to stay the night, but with no success. Somewhere the decision was made that we would just drive through the night. It was a long night.

On the Road

By morning we were not far from Ulaanbaatar, and we stopped to try a few places for breakfast. Eventually one was found that was open, and breakfast was ordered. I opted for some instant noodles. Even the Mongolians were not happy with the food and left a lot uneaten!

Tire repair

Then off driving again. And another flat. Maybe two, it is a bit hazy now.This time Davka hitch-hiked with 2 tires towards UB and back. Several more hours spent waiting in the wilderness. Some very serious cyclists rode past.

A lonely yellow van

Finally we got into UB, and dropped Erka off. Somehow we got one last flat tire! At least now we were stopped directly opposite a tire repair place. Eventually I got home, at 3pm, very tired and ready for sleep.

The End.

Sunrise on the steppes

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