The people who stayed at Almaty met up at a campsite before we entered Russia. This has now become our convoy and we’ve got some wicked people in it.
Leaving khasakstan we only had 2 police stops. The deal now with police stops is if one car gets pulled over, everyone stops. It becomes a massive cluster fuck for the police and they soon let us go. However, one of the stops a police man gave us a beer, let us wear his hat and take pictures…. then we left! The second police stop, they demanded to see everyones car registration and passports, but as everyone got out their car we had about 20 people all walking around asking the police man different things and following him everywhere he went. We then tried to fit all 20 into his very small office on the side of the road…. within minutes he was telling us all to leave! Simple 🙂
Entering Russia we had a long drive ahead. To reach mongolia we had to have an overnight stay in Russia. We spent a few hours driving to Barnaul city as we heard it had a fiat and skoda dealer there, which 2 teams of the convoy needed. Whilst they were getting their car fixed Rus and I headed off to the super market to stock up on epic camping food for Mongolia.
Later the entire convoy checked into a rather nice hotel. Hot water, wifi, double beds…. luxury!
Evening we headed off to a restaurant and all enjoyed some proper hot good tasting food. At this point in the rally, anything hot with flavour has become a godsend.
After the meal a few of us were up for hitting the town, it was just about midnight and again we heard this place shuts down after 12, except for strip clubs.
So a few of us headed off there to have a few beers. All I’ll say is, if English strip clubs are a 3 out of 10…. Russian ones are a 11!
The following day Team Convoy waited for a members car to be fixed before we all headed out. Never leave a man behind! We drove for several hours in formation right until sunset. The scenery was outstanding…. if you’ve played Oblivion, it was literally like driving round there. Awesome, water falls, lush green mountains, rivers, canyons… beautiful. We found our best campsite so far, right next to a river, surrounded by trees and a small green field. Several people washed in the river and evening used its fresh river water for cooking. We had a fire and the entire convoy enjoyed beer, meat and good banter until the early hours.
The next day we were only a few hours drive from the border, so we just made a beeline straight there.