After a nice sunset last night, we left Yakeshi this morning about 9 a.m. to drive to Manzhouli, which is on the border with Russia.
After about 60 miles, the G10 expressway we’ve been following since Suifenhe came to an end — we thought it would take us all the way to Manzhouli. But not to worry — we continued on the G301, which turned out to be an excellent four lane national highway, although we did have to slow down a few times for cows crossing the road.
We saw many horses and sheep as well, including this herd of horses that raced to a nearby river, where they plowed right into the water and started playing and drinking.
The forests from yesterday disappeared and the terrain became smaller rolling hills — we’re now traveling on what’s known as the steppe. The weather was nice again today, but very windy. It reminded me of the winds in the deserts of the southwest U.S. — I even saw a couple of tumbleweeds go dancing down the road, and one got squashed by a car in front of me.
I could see the railroad track running parallel to us for many miles today, so I’m sure the original racers saw some of the same scenes as us. However, they would have missed the giant wind turbines perched on the surrounding hillsides. What they saw was probably something close to the picture below:
We saw many yurts, the tent-like structures that Mongolians use for everything from houses to restaurants. We stopped at a resort that had large yurt for the reception area and restaurant and smaller yurts for the rooms. The large yurt had a main room filled with stuffed animals.
We arrived in Manzhouli about 1:30, having made only one short stop at a closed gas station for a Roadster refueling from the side tanks. The wind was blowing so hard, it rocked the Envoy as we sat there.
Tomorrow: A short tour of Manzhouli and then ensuring our customs paperwork is in order for the Friday border crossing back into Russia.