Day 7, 8, 9

This was all a bit of a blur. As we entered the special stage in Murun, we lost the right rear wheel as around 100 kph. We hit the ground pretty hard with a broken shock, broken rear brake and the same collar failure. We were angry with ourselves for not having welded both sides, but that was only in hindsight.

A passing Mongolian family took me in their Subaru back to Murun to find a welder. Dean stayed with the car, replacing the shocks and capping the brake line and getting increasingly worried about being stranded in the desert. I eventually made it back with the welded axle and were were thirty seconds from victory when the jack failed and dropped the car on the ground !!

Luckily a passing Mongolia UAZ lent us their jack, and combined with the Subaru jack we got the car lifted and rolled into camp around midnight.

Day 3 to 6

Sorry for the long gap, but it's been a wild wild wild ride.

After leaving Beijing we went to Hohhot and then Erenhot. Our rear axle seal was leaking so we disassembled it and cleaned out some debris from the seal and solved the leak. We also bought a very loud airhorn since it's impossible to drive without one and it served us well later on with the flocks of sheep, horses, camels and cows on the trails in Mongolia.

Crossing the border into Mongolia was very very slow and difficult. As a result all time controls were cancelled and we used the time to get up to speed on gravel. As we approached camp, our left rear wheel came away from the car ! This is due to the design of the 504 live axle. The bearing is held on by a cold pressed collar and the collar had failed, allowing the bearing and consequently the axle to fall out. Luckily it was only part way out, and we were only a few miles from camp.

We got a ride in on the photographer's truck and the Nomad support team welde…

Day 2

We arrived in Erenhot this afternoon. Mostly a freeway run today and a one lap test in a field. Car 1 was stopped by the cops because the said it was unsafe for the navigator ! This in a country where entire families are regulalry seen on a motorcycle. I heard them roll in around midnight so I hope they are in good spirits. I discovered I'm really bad at taking selfies ! Will work on that !

Day 1

The start was a lot of fun

The car ran very well, but because of an accident we couldn't set a stage time.

All those who managed to run the stage got their actual times and everybody else got a nominal time, which was 4.47

Day 2 here we come

Athena pick up !

Picked up the car from the warehouse today. She started first push of the starter. But the shippers had drained the tank so she was not happy. Thanks to Jamie in his Morris who kindly filled up our fuel bag at the gas station allowing us and a few others to get going.

We met Bennie and Tony who provided a workshop and we changed the oil and some other tasks we had scheduled. Thanks Frankie for arranging it all.

Police Briefing and Duck

We have been told how to "self-drive" in China !

Most useful fact : If you don't slow down or give way at a Green Light it's still your fault !

But the highlight was definitely DINNER. The most amazing Peking Duck !

Arrival in Beijing

Just landed in Beijing. It's pretty hot !

Spent a few hours looking for butane for our torch. Seems that everybody only uses disposable lighters. Asked the concierge and he says is this what you are looking for and pulls out a can of butane. Yes, I say, and he says this is for another guest, we ordered it from the internet !

Anyway he has promised to bring me a can on Friday afternoon.

Next official event is the Police Briefing. Will try and stay awake for our video driving lesson courtesy of the People's Republic.