Day One Sunday 12 June Beijing to Datong

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A La France starts at number one.  The car and the pith helmeted crew only just made the turn to the arch. God knows how it will cope with Europe let alone Mongolia.
The car boasts a 500 litre fuel tank, doesn’t go faster than 45 mph and the fuel tank filler is 12 inches wide. Oh and the engine size is 14.5 litres.

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Period head gear was popular

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Cute helmetry

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Sadly some cars didn’t make the start, this La France broke a part and was last heard of on a low loader

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We had our moment on the start line, but after an early start were grateful to put all the cymbal crashing, dragon dancing and high tempo drumming behind us.

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Didn’t get a photo but we got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams.  The roads are crammed with trucks, all painted red. In the last few years 50 million people have moved from the country into towns each year.  That programme is supported by a land bridge of trucks. We saw thousands today. At one point we were overtaking three abreast uphill and met a truck being overtaken coming downhill. Not quite sure how we all fitted on the two lane highway.

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The Chinese we have met have been universally charming. The cars are mobbed every time we stop, everyone has a mobile and everyone wants a photo.  Cars slow you down so the grinning occupants can get a picture leaning out of the windows.  The language barrier is difficult, but ” Welcome to China” is often heard.

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Typical street scenes

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Three wheeled trucks are popular but not fast

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The Police were helpful, here the chief is getting his photo taken at a Rally Control.

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Some cars suffered in the heat

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We had a trouble free run, nice to actually drive somewhere. At the hotel Jonathan set about a thorough check while I addressed the important things and went in search of whisky.
I mean water.

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Got water from this nice lady in the off licence – very proud of her beautifully kept shop.

Feels good to be under way, high point of today was definitely securing my second ice cream and Coca-Cola float of the trip and the third this year. Truly the gods are looking after me.

2 thoughts on “Day One Sunday 12 June Beijing to Datong”

  1. Don’t tempt fate! Great to see some pics from the car’s perspective. So glad you had such a good start. xx

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