Khovd (Ховд)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Our hotel had the usual challenge, ie.:lacking hot water. But we setup our camping shower and used the kettle to boil the water. It was good to get cleaned up and wash away the dust and dirt.

We caught up on internet during the afternoon before heading to ‘Altai Restaurant’ for a pretty fine dinner and a beer.

Friday, June 6, 2014

We completed a few chores today. Stephen dismantled the battery tray and went in search of a man to weld it back together. Although a welder was found, he struggled with the aluminum and quickly gave up. Instead Stephen found a woman with a machinery shop and used the grinder and drill press there to fashion a brace. Ok, it might not be the strongest and best job possible, but should last until the good roads of Europe. Caroline got the washing done and searched for flights to Japan, our trip planned in a few months from now. Finding a good flight was proving to be a little more complicated than we thought, as the departure and arrival times are not really working out. But we got a few choices that would work.

There were quite a few tourist on motorbikes in this town. We saw a group from England, two guys from Norway, another group from Switzerland joined by some guys from France. Mongolia is apparently the place to come and ride.

We went for an evening stroll around this dusty little town before searching out dinner. Turns out Friday night is ‘dry’ in this little town. Apparently alcohol is not sold on Friday in respect for the Muslim majority. Talking about cash machines, we also rang our bank in Australia to find out why our cash card was not working and hadn’t worked for the last few weeks. Turned out there is a known problem with our ATM card and some foreign cash machines. We switched over to another cash card to get money, but it was good to know the Australian one “should” work.

Predicting Dust today
No hot water – no way, we can fix that!
The repair
The yellow/red brick house is where Stephen fixed the battery tray.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Yes, still here. When we applied for our Kazakhstan visa, we thought we would enter around the 21st of June so asked for our visa to start on the 17th of June, in case we move faster than expected. We did move faster than expected, so needed to slow our progress down a little resulting in another day in Khovd. The Kazakhstan visa does not permit us to enter early.

We found out that there is not much to see and do in Khovd. But we were glad that we stayed the extra day. We just relaxed and as the sun was out, we spent time strolling around town, almost literally around the town. They have gone to quite a bit of effort to beautify the place. There are mature tress lining the streets, the footpaths don’t have too many gaping holes and the sealed roads help keep down the dust. They do have a long way to go and each winter must cause quite a few setbacks.

We tried a different restaurant for dinner, but still Goulash. Afterwards we had a pleasant chat and beer with the Swiss/French bikers back at the hotel. Got a good tip about a Roll-On-Roll-Off car ferry leaving Novorossiysk in Russia to Samsun in Turkey across the Black Sea. This is another way to avoid Ukraine, and so we planned to look into this route option further.

The northern extent of town.
Tire Art (or not).
Tree lined streets. Very nice.
Life in a Northern Town.
Hard to see, but those are eagles in the sky. Lots of them.
The backstreets of Khovd

Sunday, June 8, 2014

We heard the road north was unpaved, so we tried for an early start. We failed and finally got on the road around 10am. It is nice to take it slowly in the morning.