Day 53 - Ulanbaatar, Mongolia

Kublai Kooks - Mongol Rally 2017
Day 53 – September 6, 2017
Ulanbaatar, Mongolia
Countries: 29 KMs/Miles: 20378/12736
Breakdowns: 15 Time @ Borders: 53h 15m

Up at the crack of dawn again the Kooks hit the road. All roads lead to Ulanbaatar! The roads seemed to improve and the Kooks were making good time. Finally after all of this driving, all of the kilometres, the late nights, the early mornings, and eight weeks on the road Ulanbaatar appeared as they came over the hill. The finish line had previously been located here but was relocated to Ulan Ude to make it easier to ship your car home. As far as the Kooks were concerned they had done it. They had conquered the rally. If the car were to breakdown here they would simply put it on a truck and take it the rest of the way. Che-ya!

I’m not sure what they were expecting but the city was situated down in the valley and was barely visible. You could only make out a few of the larger buildings in town under all the smog. It was disgusting. Big chimneys pumping out smoke and a massive power plant filling the air with black clouds. Turns out it it’s one of the most polluted cities in the world and only gets worse in winter when everyone lights their coal fires. It was a slow trek into the centre of town going through countless lights coping all the exhaust fumes and smog. The drivers here are extremely aggressive but after their previous exploits it was nothing the Kooks couldn’t handle. Strangely every second car is a Prius. Toyota must love Ulanbaatar.

After a hunt around for the hostel they finally found it. Walking in there were children’s toys everywhere. This seemed more like a family home rather than anything else. All part of the whacky world of the rally. Luckily the boys didn’t push through the night before because the shower was ice cold. The sort of cold that takes your breath away. They all needed a shower badly though and braved it. They were looking more like their old selves and went to a good restaurant to treat themselves. The beers were brought out and toasts made. To John!

After the best meal the Kooks have had since the start of the rally they headed to the black market. This place sold everything. Planks of wood, ovens, power tools, cloths, electronics. The Kooks weren’t interested in that though. They were interested in the bad ass traditional hats, the big ass knives, the sweet ass bow and arrows, and the old ass nick-nacks. The place definitely had the Kooks attention. It had been some long days and after a big feed and a few beers the Kooks were absolutely shattered so they headed back for a much needed nap.

When they woke up the Aussie boys and the convoy had rolled into town. Geej had found another rally crew at a pub so they headed there for a few warm up beers and some dinner. The convoy was down the road so they headed to see them. Barnesy (friends with the Kooks and the Aussies) was an absolute champion and had given the crew $200 to be specifically spent on cold, hard, liquor. Let the bar tab and debauchery begin. A bunch of other teams joined them as they pinned their ears back and took the night by the horns. Everyone was in good spirits and a cracking night was had by all. Sensible as always, the Kooks stumbled in at around 5am. End transmission.