Team head to border in morning. Hear news that there is another kiwi rally team at the head of the queue. Get there only to find that it's a Canadian and a South African couple, posing as kiwis. Team interrogate them and found out they live in Wellington and actually seem pretty cool, so give them permission to refer to themselves as kiwis, though the team would prefer that foreigners seek permission off people born in NZ, before referring to themselves as kiwis. read more »
Team wake up to find it still raining though both team members agree they had a surprisingly good night's sleep.
Bikers yesterday had told the team bad news, that the border to Mongolia is closed at weekends. The team were hoping to be through on Saturday to give them four full days to reach Ulaanbaatar. Team drive further and find hotel, check in then find out from local that border is open on weekends. Get Russian chap who speaks good english to ask for a refund for team from hotel, team then head for border.
Team reach town of Kosh-agach just before border. Found out from Spanish biker that border is closed until Monday. This really makes things difficult for the team. They have read that if everything goes smoothly you can cross Mongolia in 5 days, they will have 3. read more »
Team leave Barnaul in direction of Mongolian border. Bump into two English motorbikers at the gas station. One of whom is a former circus performer. Bikers inform team that 3 days after they left Khorog in Tajikistan, government helicopter gunships opened fire in the town killing dozens of servicemen, local fighters, and an unknown number of civilians. This was due to tensions between government officials and the local police chief in the semi-autonomous region, who they believe may be responsible for assassinating of the province's state security chief, and may be a key player in trafficking heroin from Afghanistan. All roads to Khorog are now closed. Team spare a thought for the aussie engineer they met hoping she got out in time. read more »
It's official, Justin's iPhone is lost. The team hoped that in the car clean out they'd find out, but they didn't. This is quite tragic, most of the candid photos and videos of the trip are on this. The team is gutted. read more »