Jeez! It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep, on the road. Well, not on it, beside it. The Caranex is our Achilles Heel when it rains. And boy, did it rain last night. I can’t believe the whole thing didn’t collapse under the weight of water that had collected on the roof. So after clearing that away we decided to call it quits for the night at 6am. The next four hours were spent salvaging what we could from the floor which was under an inch (25.4mm) of water. Someone remind me to waterproof the thing and design some roof supports, so the water won’t collect on it. What made things worse, was neither doors were properly shut, so water was leaking into the cockpit, wetting sheepskin seat covers, seat belts, etc.
On the road at 10am with the heater turned up full bore to dry things out.
The scenery in this part of Russia is quite special. The Katun river looks to be fairly shallow but fast flowing and is no doubt responsible for the gorge the road follows. Sadly low cloud and rain obscured much of the bigger mountains in the background so we only get the odd glimpse of their snowy peaks. Along the way there are a number of sites where early man had created Petroglyph’s of animals on the rocks. Due to the rain, we never made the trek to see them. The road, the M52 is 966k’s long from Novosibirsk to the Mongolian border and is known as the Chuysky Trakt. It is rated as one of the worlds great drives.
Road surfaces are excellent too.
How would you like to drive a 1000cc Austin Metro from the UK to Mongolia? No? Me neither. While filling up with diesel at one of the last refuelling stops before the border, we met two gregarious solid lads from East Anglia, doing just that. Taking part in the Mongol Rally. It’s essentially a charity run that started in 2004 with 6 entrants. Four finished. We hope to catch up with the two chaps again tomorrow at the border so will be able to give you more information on this year’s rally.