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Mongolian roads are certainly different
The roads here are quite amazing - sometimes there's tar, but mostly it's dirt or gravel. The tar roads at the beginning were fast but boring, whereas the dirt is much more interesting and we can go nearly as fast as the cars. If it rains this will be a different story!!!
The whole route to Tsetserleg will be tar-sealed within a couple of years as the main structure of the roads and drainage is already there. We've had a few detours to avoid road building - one horrendous 15km detour to avoid a 4km long new road....really frustrating.
We've also been the only vehicle on a soon to be opened new road, so we can't really complain. While the roads are being built people drive anywhere all over the land making hundreds of trails. There's a Millenium Road target in Mongolia - 2000km of new roads to be built - people here joke that it's called the Millenium Road because it will take a millenium to build them.
Lots of the roads suffer from landlides and mud slides although none of the gradients are very steep. We've climbed about 500m in 500km which gives a good idea. Passes marked on maps are often 50m higher than the valley. The valleys on the other hand are often 30km across. This is a very big place. Even with a 400mm zoom lens, photos still look like your using a wide-angled lens.
Posted by Simon Taylor