It was the ultimate goal. The massive country that sat worlds away from our starting line in London, past the days and weeks that felt so mysterious prior to departure. The question of whether or not we’d make it that far had hung over our heads since gazing down the squiggly lines of the oversized world map displayed at the kick-off party. It was the first time we had realized how LONG those lines were, and that we’d be driving along one of them, or a variation of one of them, or a really screwed up version of one of them, to hopefully arrive at that massive piece of land on the other side of the world.
When we left the nightmare of the border in the dust of our tracks, we felt good. We had stopped caring about the lack of showers and the lack of beds and were ready to embrace the bush that now felt like a luxurious escape from the concrete we’d been stuck in.
So we picked a path and let it carry us into the countryside — the Mongolian Steppe — as it snaked its way across and between other tracks, constantly teasing us with new options and different directions. But there’s really only one option is this country when entering from the West and that’s East.
We bounced over hills and cracks, crawled through streams, and watched in awe at the scenery — windows of proof that we had indeed crossed one third of the Earth’s surface and watched it change from glittering European cities packed with tourists to the golden sand dunes and white peaked mountains of Mongolia with no one fighting us for the view besides the herds of wild horses and camels that occasionally blocked the road.
Mongolia is a stunning country of surprising variety, and rather than continue to wax poetic about the moving experience of driving through it, I think pictures will do the job this time…
Enjoy the ride through our final leg of the Mongol Rally. Next stop, Ulaanbaatar!
You know you’re in Mongolia when there’s only one sign, pointing in only one direction.
The most “official” police checkpoint we saw in Mongolia.
The locals loved to wave and cheer us on as we drove past.