Another day, and for a change, giggling female omelette chefs.
Made an early start to get into Nomads
Even Nomads have trouble getting their trucks through the desert.
Ingenuity on the event is astonishing. The crew of Doomba had a piston detonate. They have welded shut the lifters and aim to finish the event on five out of six cylinders
We always park in the dry and always service in a puddle. I mean really? Every time we park? Really?
Broken cars litter the yard.
With more arriving after an overnight journey. This is what being trucked out of the desert looks like, loaded by reversing the truck into a ditch and driving the car up two planks.
Repairs to the leaf springs of the Lancia on the left.
The Rally is astonishing for the highs and lows it generates. A Mercedes crew were limping out of the desert with a major part failure, thinking they would never find a part. In one of the villages, by the roadside, they saw an identical model on bricks. Twenty minutes later the deal was done and they were back in the event. I don’t think we’d have the same luck in an AMX.
Down to the auto market to search for ball joints and Jonathan is a man on a mission. Korean dealers are frowned upon.
A successful purchase from the Korean shop!
We were hoping for Russian to satisfy local niceties.
Telmuun our local fixer was really helpful, he’s in the middle with the oil salesmen. He speaks great English and is hoping to visit an English speaking country one day.
Rumours from the competitive department: it appears Gerry Crown has blown his engine, don’t yet know how much time we lost doing the stages at a walk, but hopefully we can leave Ulan Bataar in running order. I think the leader is probably a very serious Datsun 240Z
And we could be forty minutes behind in 18th place after yesterday’s limped stages. It will be interesting to see how accurate that prediction is later.
Seven more days in the desert will be a big test of the crew relationship. I think we could still progress but Jonathan wants more caution. The leader board may help resolve what speed we should make. I am thinking it’s going to be rough and we need to be slow.
Werner asks Jonathan if this was the best holiday he could find. To be honest he is really in his element, field repairs and engineering with what comes to hand. I keep hearing his laugh coming from a workshop 100 metres away. But I don’t want him taking all the glory, I just fixed the off side screen washer jet.
Local street scene, note the coal fired power station in the centre of town and the industrial gaffer tape repair to the pipe on left.
We are expected at a nose flute and throat singing demonstration tonight. It’s put on by the Lotus Child charity for abandoned orphans. I carried over two pairs of Adam’s football boots as getting sports gear is as useful to them as money. I had a dream last night that Adam’s boots were the start of the Mongolian Pele’s career. I suspect the reality is a big orphan putting a stud shape in the face of a little orphan…
Situation report 6.30pm
We’re 21st equal and 32mins behind the leader. Jonathan has been working his nuts off trying to get the car drivable and can’t be cheered by ice cream. This is a very worrying sign and a new low along the way.
I hope we can get back in the event but Jonathan isn’t confident.
Had great help from Jan and Suzanne, Nomads owners and their son Arian. Their crew of welders and grinders helped us no end. Got a great Nomads logo for the back end of the car too.
Update car is fixed but geometry is a little wiggy, we may start using tyres. Ceremonial start from the centre of town tomorrow.