We started the day off by having our first scrambled eggs breakfast curtesy of our tank friends. We happened to have veggies and they had eggs and bread, and more importantly, a working stove. We dined like kings, they pulled our car out of our "situation", and we continued along the "highway". Just so we're clear, the worst road you can imagine back home, is better than this "highway", it doesn't even qualify for a "back road". It was beautiful and in true spirit of the Mongol Rally, we had to pull over and fix the sump guard that started dragging again from the rattle of the washboard-like roads.
Our dashcam SD card was full and the computer battery was too low to copy it over. We decided to stop in a random village to see if we can charge it. I asked the first guy that walked by us where we could charge the computer for just 10-15 minutes, and he led us to his home. While it was charging, he introduced us to his family and insisted we come in, sit down, and offered us fresh milk from the fridge along with whatever pastries and cookies that were on the table.
It was not cow milk. We downed our glasses of horse milk to be polite but continuously had to politely reject the offered refills. Imagine a glass of milk sitting in the sun all day then smoked. That's what this tasted like.
Now we know. No ragrets though.
We gifted his daughter some nail polish and were on our way to getting a flat tire with a gorgeous view.
Continuing on washerboard roads, we had to pull over yet again to continuously fix the dragging sump guard that needed to be welded back in. Apparently zip ties aren't as magical of a fix for everything as we thought, go figure. Luckily, there happened to be a ball of wire lying a foot from the car, so we'll have to see how long that'll hold.
We rode on to a second flat tire that began to cut the rubber. Got it just in time and hammered the rim back in.
We then took a detour from the main road to drive right through the mountains and recorded the whole thing on drone. What scenery! And yet, driving through the little village, EVERYONE dropped what they were doing and gaped at us, wide open mouthed and everything.
Getting back on the main road, we looked out where it met back up with the lake and pulled off to a beach. There were 6 yurts set up along a beautiful beach, and they even rented them out. We initially said no thanks, and preferred to sleep in the car for peace of mind. Justin wanted to work on the car with some daylight so while I was packing up for the night and washing everything from the day's dose of dust, justin changed the back suspension.
An old lady came by saying we're going to freeze to death in our car and her heart broke for us. She lived in the trailer on the beach and was the only one who lived on the beach year round. She offered us a room and told us to come by later on. After discussing it, justin and I decided we should take more chances and be more social and that we'd take her up on her offer, but before we could do so, the yurt girl came out asking if we wanted the beds set up separately or together. We were confused because we thought we had an agreement with her mother about sleeping in the parking lot, but figured it wouldn't hurt to sleep in one. For 400 SOM ($8), we got a yurt. It was a big round tent, a bunch of carpets laid out on the ground, a mattress in the middle of the room with thick, heavy blankets, and a table off to the side. It was all completely mismatched and yet that's what made it charming. The kid lit 2 candles and stuck them to the table and left us for the night. We got out the beers, the vodka, and the cards. We played 3 rounds of Crazy 8 Countdown and were apparently too giggly to the point that we were told to keep it down at 10:30. We weren't even that loud!
Surprisingly, I slept like a baby. The blankets were so heavy, they cocooned us and were toasty, but any part of you (hand/nose/toe) that stuck out from under would turn to solid ice. it was CRAZY windy and SO cold, the little old lady was right - we would've frozen in the car. It gets pretty damn cold 5000ft up in the mountains. Most yurts are getting packed up at this point as autumn approaches. All in all, it was an awesome night!