We were all up early to get to the China/Mongolian border. We spent about 2/3 hours getting through the borders. Zamyn is the first settlement in Mongolia over the border and it is the hottest and driest town in mongolia. Desertification is a real problem and you can see sand dunes forming between the buildings.  Mostly vast plains with little on them apart from the odd group of camels or wild horses. Hardly anyone around. Mongoila has the fewset people/sq km than anywhere in the world. The path we drove for 213 kms was little more than a sand/dirt track which we had to navigate as best we could. Craig started driving at about 20km/hr but we thought we’d never get to the camp site at that rate, so you actually had to increase your speed and by the end we were averaging between 30-40 km/hr which was comfortable. Some cars were motoring! but many of those have now had major problems with broken leaf springs, wheels breaking, radiators punctured……..So far the Dodge has been fantastic and certainly the engine hasn’t missed a beat except in the traffic jams when the temp gets a bit high. However, the leaf springs have inverted in their arch and so at Ulaanbataar Craig is going to see about putting another one in just for safe measure. The people seem lovely and the kids are all over us practising their english which they learn at school. Camped the night at Sainshand. No sleep due to trains and snoring from every tent around us!! next time we will pitch our tent further away from evryone!

Drive to Erenhot

The second day we travelled to the mongolian border town of Erenhot, 518kms away on some pretty dodgie roads.

The countryside was changed significantly from the very busy populated areas with crops and animals to more open grass plains and you could see what I think of as more mongolian ger (yert)’s in places.

 Drivng into Erenhot they have this amazing dinosaur archway and then dinosaur sculptures scattered around the fields???

North China

Hi All. Well where to start!  We left Beijing very early on the Friday the 10th heading for the great Wall of China for our official start (about 70km away). Traffic dreadful and chaotic with the car and its driver heating up a little in the jams! The wall looked amazing and a fabulous place to begin this epic journey. Already there have been cars that haven’t arrived or that have been having problems – so fingers crossed.

From the wall we drove 399 kms to Daihai. Once off the highway we travelled through numerous little villages with the police keeping a weary eye on us the whole way!. The towns were jammed, smelly, dirty and had cars, bikes, trucks, dogs and people going any which way. Slightly terrifying! The people all were all very interested in us all, smiling and waving.

Cars arrive in Beijing

Craig and I picked up the car from the warehouse at the docks. Started first turn! very hot and slow trip back to the Hotel. A number of cars didn’t make it and apparently 12 cars haven’t made the start line. We start at the great wall tomorrow morning early!


City life!The Forbidden City

Our first day was spent doing the touristy thing, visiting the Forbidden city and wandering the back streets. Amazing archetecture and colour everywhere, not to mention people! Beijing is not quite what I expected, in the city centre areas it’s prestine (altho go a little further out and its not) and we have felt very at ease here. Not to hot at about 28-35 C and with this haze evrywhere which according to the locals is ‘fog’ !

The Route


Peking to Paris 2010
Proposed schedule as at 8th October 2009
Day and Date Route Country Kms
Day 1 10th Sept Fri Peking to Daihai China 472
Day 2 11th Sept Sat Daihai to Erenhot China 508
Day 3 12th Sept Sun Erenhot to Sainshand Mongolia 248
Day 4 13th Sept Mon Sainshand to Ulaan Baatar Mongolia 436
Day 5 14th Sept Tue Ulaan Baatar – Day Off  
Day 6 15th Sept Wed Ulaan Baatar to Kharakorin Mongolia 370
Day 7 16th Sept Thu Kharakorin to Tariat Mongolia 325
Day 8 17th Sept Fri Tariat to Uliastay Mongolia 370
Day 9 18th Sept Sat Uliastay to Teel River Mongolia 250
Day 10 19th Sept Sun Teel River to Khovd Mongolia 200
Day 11 20th Sept Mon Khovd – Day Off  
Day 12 21st Sept Tue Khovd to Border Mongolia 300
Day 13 22nd Sept Wed Border to Biysk Russia 565
Day 14 23rd Sept Thu Biysk to Semey Kazakhstan 450
Day 15 24th Sept Fri Semey to Usharal Kazakhstan 510
Day 16 25th Sept Sat Usharal to Almaty Kazakhstan 480
Day 17 26th Sept Sun Almaty – Day Off  
Day 18 27th Sept Mon Almaty Kazakhstan  
Day 19 28th Sept Tue Shymkent Kazakhstan 560
Day 20 29th Sept Wed Yallama to Tashkent Uzbekhistan 400
Day 21 30th Sept Thu Tashkent to Samarkand Uzbekhistan 410
Day 22 1st Oct Fri Samarkand – Day Off  
Day 23 2nd Oct Sat Samarkand to Turkmenabat Turkmenistan 400
Day 24 3rd Oct Sun Turkmenabat to Ashgabad Turkmenistan 600
Day 25 4th Oct Mon Ashgabad to Gorgan Iran 550
Day 26 5th Oct Tue Gorgan to Rasht Iran 500
Day 27 6th Oct Wed Rasht to Tabriz Iran 520
Day 28 7th Oct Thu Tabriz to Erzurum Turkey 590
Day 29 8th Oct Fri Erzurum to Kozakli Turkey 725
Day 30 9th Oct Sat Kozakli to Abant Lake Turkey 540
Day 31 10th Oct Sun Abant Lake to Istanbul Turkey 320
Day 32 11th Oct Mon Istanbul to Thessaloniki Greece 680
Day 33 12th Oct Tue Thessaloniki to Igoumenitsa Via ferry to Ancona 500
Day 34 13th Oct Wed Ancona to Viareggio Italy 370
Day 35 14th Oct Thu Viareggio to Aix les Bains France 550
Day 36 15th Oct Fri Aix les Bains to Troyes France 440
Day 37 16th Oct Sat Troyes to Paris France 200
Total = 14569 kms