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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 19 Oct 2009
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How long to get to Mongolia?

Hi everyone,

I had plans to spend 3 weeks driving around Europe in Feb but now am thinking slightly different...

If myself and my friend drove pretty much solid for a week would we be able to make it into Mongoila? I've driven 1,000 miles a day for a few days before in Europe with the same friend with no real issues. But I understand driving through Russia is a little different.

I'd sell the car we had planned to do the Europe trip in (old Mercedes S600L) and buy a Nissan Patrol to drive there in.

Is it completely ridiculous to think that we could get to Mongolia in 8 days?
Would it be worth trying even if we didn't make it as the drive/scenery on the way there would be a nice one?
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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February? It will probably be about -30 to -40 in places like Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Ulaanbaatar in February.

I guess it would be possible to get to Ulan Ude from UK in about 8 -9 days doing 1000 miles a day. With 2 drivers and driving just about round the clock. I doubt it would be a very relaxing trip. And if you have a breakdown in those temperatures and the engine stops, you have a real problem.
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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That's cold. I've experienced temperatures like that before in Norway and it wasn't overally pleasent at night. What would the temperatures be during the day?

I would have trouble in the colder times below -20c with diesel turning to jelly.
If we could get to Ulan Ude in 8 days have 5 days there and 12 days drive back I'd be happy with that.

Is the weather going to be a real killer? Making the journey nigh on impossible to do?
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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generally the weather will be dry and sunny ... low humidity (that makes it easier to bear)

Locals tend to keep engines running all winter ... especially in the colder parts of Siberia ... engine will fire up in November or so and wont be switched off for 4 months.

They also mix kerosine with diesel to keep it liquid.

To be totally honest, it doesnt sound like a huge amount of fun mate, but your call!

Irkutsk February historical average data ... Average Max -25, Average Min -38
Ulaanbaatar historical Feb data ... much the same. Avge Max -21, Average Min -38.
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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I do agree. I wouldn't have a problem with driving 4 days absolutely solid and then doing some touring although I think heading east for 4 days will take me into deepest, darkest Russia with little to see or do?

I either need a lot more time away from work which I can't really get since I work in retail or I need to stick to the smaller Euro trip which I done already tens of times and am getting bored of it.

How do these people who stay on the road for months and months sometimes years on end fund their lifestyle. I don't have a mortgage I can just sell my stuff and go but I'd run out of money after a few months surely, do these people simply have bigger budgets or is there a secret?
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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Maybe doing Northern Africa would be cool?

Would certainly feel very different, one of the reasons why I enjoyed driving to Nordkapp in Feb07 was just how different the Arctic landscape is compared to Britain, so perhaps I could settle with Northern Africa....
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Old 19 Oct 2009
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In 3 weeks you can do a nice tour in Marocco without having to drive 24/7.

A return trip always end up being many hours behind the wheel. Try to find a way to do a one-way trip and fly back if you want to go further.

Regarding people leaving for longer trips: I am sure there are people with bigger budgets, but for the most part it is about choices.
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Old 20 Oct 2009
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If you want to enjoy the trip don't go to Mongolia in the winter. As has been noted, it's very, very cold, but just as important, it's not very interesting/attractive.

Mongolia in the warm months has some of loveliest scenery in the world. But in the winter it's all white and brown. I've driven across most of Mongolia in the winter and it's just white and brown for hours and hours and hours.

Plus it's so cold that we had major ice buildup on the inside of the windows of a modern Land Cruiser that had the heat on full blast.

Go in warm weather!

Scott
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Old 29 Oct 2009
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Morocco

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Rothwell View Post
Maybe doing Northern Africa would be cool?

Would certainly feel very different, one of the reasons why I enjoyed driving to Nordkapp in Feb07 was just how different the Arctic landscape is compared to Britain, so perhaps I could settle with Northern Africa....
able

We spent 3 weeks in Morocco around the time you are looking to go in 2005. The weather was lovely during the day and cold in the evening. The trip was very enjoyable and the pace was relaxing (only driving every few days and taking in the many sites etc.. I would recommend it highly at that time of year.
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