Barnaul (RUS)- Altai Mountains (RUS)
August 27, 2014
We left the Hotel Barnaul around 9:30am and started driving towards Mongolia. We saw a Suzuki dealership on the outskirts of Barnaul. We were concerned about our wheel.
We only got one spare tire and two of our wheels were bent and hammered multiple times already. Our goal is to buy another wheel as a backup for the upcoming Western Mongolia drive- there is no road there.
The very nice sales clerk directed us to a wheel store so we drove back to the city. The first store doesn’t have the specific dimension of our wheel. They directed us to another store several blocks away. And volia! They have it in our dimensions.
The sales manager Anton is super helpful. He tracked down the product instantly and we got a brand spanking new wheel!
All the Russians we met are super friendly, I don’t know why in U.S.A. media still portrayed Russians as cold, emotionless and stern. We are not in Cold War anymore! From our experience Russians are very friendly!
It was a cloudy and rainy day. The more we drive deeper into the Altai Mountains the sparsely the population is. Eventually we have the entire road and mountain to ourselves. It is an absolutely serene and beautiful drive.
There’s nobody around at all. So quiet and beautiful. I would say this and the Kyrgyzstan Tien Shan drive is the most scenic among the entire Mongol Rally.
We drove until nightfall. We debated if we should kept driving to the Mongolia border and we decided to camp out on a ledge overseeing the river, next to some cow dungs.