Originally Posted by ciedema
The Crew (and me)
As we were having breakfast with ciedema and his wife, the distinctive sound of Rod's bike could be heard motoring down the highway. The good thing about being located in this particular hotel with its highway frontage, is every motorcycle coming into or going out of Mongolia was heard and seen by me for a week. We werent expecting Rod quite so early (Rod is a much earlier riser than the rest of us) as he was still 3-4 hours ride away from us when he stopped to camp the previous night. I was expecting him around lunchtime. So while Rod is all kitted up in his riding gear in the pic above, we were all still in our breakfast clothes. So we invited him to join us for breakfast.
After breakfast we bid ciedema farewell and heard the lovely sound of a LC8 heading off towards Mongolia. I had loads of packing still to do and we didn't head off for the Mongolian border for another hour and a half - around midday. We stopped in at Kosh Agach, the last chance saloon before Mongolia, and filled up with 96 octane fuel, lots of camping food and biscuits. Then it was on towards the border itself. It was after 2pm when we reached the border, and had to wait around a while. Think a lot of the staff were still on lunch. The important thing here was to make sure the carnet that covered Prutser, Beamster and Rod's bike was stamped out of Russia. Then they could enter Mongolia individually, and without the carnet.
The Russian customs guys didnt seem to be totally sure what to do with the carnet (Russia / Kazakhstan customs union normally doesnt require carnets for vehicles, but since the bikes were imported en masse, without any of the owners with them it was the easiest way), so we just made sure he stamped as many places as possible so we could get the carnet back to Sambor.
Then we hit the Mongolian border. The other 4 guys sailed through, but I had a problem. My Mongolian visa and Russian visa were in two different passports and the Mongolian border guy said this was not allowed. I argued with him for over half an hour ... demanding he show me where it says its not allowed and telling me I had done it this way before many many times in previous years, so I didnt believe him. He kept saying he cant stamp me into Mongolia as it wont be clear where I came from. I kept staying well I am stamped out of Russia so I am staying here till you either show me in writing where Mongolian law says the visa for the previous country must be in the same passport, or till he lets me in. In the end, he called the capital, UlaanBaatar, and got come advice from someone higher up, who told him to stamp my passport and let me in.
Then we had to pay out Mongolian environmental tax, and finally, at about 4:30pm we were free in Mongolia.
We did less than 10 km in Mongolia before I turned of the main road / track / cross country route ... and headed into the hills.
Here's Terry blasting up into the hills, while the main track to the border town of Tsagaannuur lies in the background at the bottom of the valley.