For those of you interested in time travel, I suggest you buy a ticket to Mongolia. This is a kingdom with an alternate reality to the modern life those of us reading a blog made by readers of another blog on the internet have become accustomed to. There are very few roads in Mongolia, let alone the type with pavement. Private car ownership only became possible in the 90s. Most of our trip was spent traveling across ancient horse and cattle paths. There are no signs marking the way. We sometimes drove for hours without seeing another human. The cars reflect this wild way of life. Here’s some fine examples of those we found along our journey.
Ours was a 90s LandCruiser with all of the trimmings. We hired a driver and a guide. The guide cooked all of our meals, many of them from a portable kitchen he kept in the back of the truck. It was a very luxurious way to travel the country side at 15 mph.
Almost every truck with a hanging spare tire had one of these nifty contraptions. I had never seen one before. Given the terrible conditions of the paths we travelled I can certainly understand why they are necessary.
Next up: the ubiquitous UAZ-452 Bread loaf. These vans were used for shuttling tourists, families, livestock, etc... They were everywhere. The other popular Russian was the UAZ-469
These bad-boys sat four across. Every Russian vehicle carried a bucket of spare parts. We’d often find people hunting through other folks’ buckets for the right part as their Bread loaf sat broken down with ten complaining tourists. Here’s some more photographs for your viewing pleasure:
The Mazda was simply amazing. We passed it on a particularly difficult river crossing that the driver was contemplating. After that crossing the terrain got progressively worse. The mud was knee deep, the ruts were incredibly trechorous. We had to engage the lockers and even then became very close to getting stuck. I never thought the Mazda would make it through. It did.
Then there’s the Hummer:
And if you want to see more Mongolia photos from a professional photographer (my wife) I suggest you click here.