■ETAP-1 12 AUG. 2018 ULAANBAATAR⇒IHTAMIR
L：295.11km S：198.80km L：8.48km TOTAL：502.39km
「A 1000 DAYS AND NIGHTS」
This could be the road that Genghis Khan took driven by his dreams when heading westward on his campaign to capture Samarkand and later far-away Europe hundreds of years ago! Now after those 1000 nights and days, the rally once again the rally heads westward crossing this land. That’s right, the rally heads westward. We chase the sun sinking lower over the grass prairies aiming for the farthest reaches of the Eurasian continent.
On Day 1 of the rally, we leave Ulaanbaatar and head along a paved road section of the liason, The SS or special stage crosses the great grasslands and takes us over a bridge. We then drive through a village. Finally we come upon a tree-lined road spanning tranquil mountains ahead of us along with a river flowing along this beautiful land. Our goal lies just ahead of the town. We finish refueling and take the liason to the nice looking camp just in time to catch a beautiful sunset.
■ETAP-2 13 AUG. 2018 IHTAMIR⇒KHAR NUUR
L：437.89km S：96.71km TOTAL：534.60km
「REALLY ENJOYABLE VIEWS, FORESTS AND LAKES, AND AN UNEXPECTED SWEDISH-TYPE MONGOLIA!」
Though still only the initial phase of the rally, this is a tour route like none ever seen before including valleys covered by beautiful forests of pine trees and magnificent lakes. This is a mostly paved route extending straight through the heart of Siberia. You might almost think of it as a liason route made for enjoying the scenery. The SS or special stage prepared for ETAP-2 is not very long. After next finally reaching beautiful Khar Nuur, the scenery shifts to a lakeside bivouac at the lake reflecting a spectacular starry sky.
■ETAP-3 14 AUG. 2018 KHAR NUUR⇒KHAR NUUR
SS-1：114.03km L：1.27km SS-2：87.07km TOTAL：202.37km
「RING WANDERING IN THE SAND DUNES」
Khar Nuur is both the start and goal. It is a one day trip only a slight distance across the sand dunes. It starts with a fun group of small sand dunes along a lake side and then transitions to a mountain area where a second small lake can be seen. The route then lures you into a large dune area. The sand there is soft and staying with the route is difficult. If you are careful and get past that point you eventually encounter a strange and surprising spring gushing up from the sand. The route then winds to the left and if you can cross the mountain a village next appears. This is the SS-1 goal. Next, the SS2 course takes you along a sandy piste, and if you keep trying and make it through a rocky area where the driving is tough, you will find yourself back at Khar Nuur which for some reason looks much more appealing on the way back. There you can enjoy a small party at the lake side under the vast expanse of outer space where the boundary between the heavens and the starry sky reflecting from the lake seem to blend into each other.
■ETAP-4 15 AUG. 2018 KHAR NUUR⇒BAYANHONGOR
L：158.09km SS-1：247.56km L：4.59km SS-2：256.25km L：6.77km TOTAL：673.26km
「THE RALLY GETS FULL-SCALE AND SERIOUS FROM HEREON!」
After leaving Khar Nuur we continue on the liason route to the city of Uliastai once a flourishing trading center up until the early days of the 20th Century and also the regional governor’s office during the Quing Dynasty rule of Mongolia. Passing right alongside the wooden bridge there called the Azure Dragon Bridge from the days of the Quing Dynasty makes us want to imagine what it was like in those times.
The rally now shifts to a full-scale course. This is two SS of more than 500 kilometers and a total distance of nearly 700 kilometers. This middle stage of the rally takes both caution and fighting spirit. We have to somehow get through this stage.
■ETAP-5 16 AUG. 2018 BAYANHONGOR⇒BAYANHONGOR
L：18.03km SS-1：245.25km L：2.22km SS-2：270.07km L：6.80km TOTAL：542.37km
「REACHING THE NORTHERN EDGE OF THE GOBI DESERT AND PLAYING ON THE GREAT PLAINS」
Today is a loop course and we proceed carefully by navigation to the east and then to the south. The grassy plains gradually give way to the Gobi Desert and you can see a shimmering heat haze. A strange and surprising lake appears in the Gobi and the SS-1 goal is nearby. We next head to the west. We cross a river with a village nearby, proceed through a valley and once through it, drive along a high-speed piste. We keep steadily going north along the great plains heading for the finish line. Our machine is running superbly. This was definitely a super-fine day.
■ETAP-6 17 AUG. 2018 BAYANHONGOR⇒BAYANGOBI
L：11.00km SS-1：230.00km L：8.61km SS-2：273.98km L：24.42km TOTAL：548.01km
「GOING THROUGH THE BLUE SKIESOF SUGAWARA PASS」
Sugawara Pass is a name given by SSER to a mountain pass that had no previous name. Yoshimasa Sugawara said, “This place is terrific!” after traveling through the pass on his first rally here. At 3000 meters above sea level this is truly the high latitudes and seeing the ultramarine blue sky at 5000 meters or higher is enough to make you shiver. Besides Sugawara Pass, today’s SS-2 takes us toward a beautiful river and sand dunes amidst the greenery. Today is a long distance run with a rather low average time. It really pushed our caution button to the limit.
■ETAP-7 18 AUG. 2018 BAYANGOBI⇒SAYHAN OVOO
SS-1：246.00km L：3.36km SS-2：249.30km L：18.28km TOTAL：516.94km
「REMAINS OF A CITY OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM」
Leaving the bivouac we start out on the SS heading towards the dunes. The goal of today’s course was once a city of Tibetan Buddhist learning that was formerly sacred religious grounds. Over the past several years the rally has always headed to this area and is within easy walking distance yet it seems impossible to find the time to go see it. These remains are a stark reminder of religious oppression in the times since the Russian revolution. Today we face the ever-changing Gobi Desert route. This is the final phase of the rally.
■ETAP-8 19 AUG. 2018 SAYHAN OVOO⇒ULAANBAATAR
L：24.38km S：210.00km L：309.43km P：17.88km TOTAL：561.69km
「DAY OF OUR TRIUMPHANT RETURN—A DEEP AND REMAINING MEMORY」
Today is a mass group start. We race towards the shimmering heat of the great plains where our happy goal awaits! Do our lives up to now, our course up to now, and all kinds of objects and things, all add up to some kind of special feeling? On these grassy plains we probably sense and experience our own lives under the perfect starry skies of the desert.
RallyMongolia 2018 DAY REPORT :
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