Today we turned south towards Mongolia and the next chapter in our journey. The weather was cold and windy as we continued to retrace our route to Ulan Ude and then onto the A165 south towards the border town of Kyakhta (Кяхта). Not far down the A165 we stopped for morning tea and bumped into another overland vehicle. A couple of Austrian guys in a expedition truck that they built themselves(on an ex-Austrian army Steyr chassis). They have been on the road since March and started in Turkey, through Iran, Georgia, Azebijan and Russia and like us are on their way to Mongolia. Their truck is larger and heavier than ours, 17,000 KG versus 11,000. We had a chat about their experiences in Iran while sharing our morning tea of Russian cream cake.
The drive south was quite pretty with the countryside quickly turning dryer with large areas of grass lands intespersed with large areas of rolling pine forests. Village housing and roadside monuments had a definte Mongolian feel; getting us in the frame of mind for our next 4+ weeks.
We picked another roadside pullout in a pine forest for the nights stopping spot. Throughout the night a number of trucks stopped to check on tires, lights or other things, and many passing vehicles sounded their horn (we don't know why) but these things only put a small dent in what was otherwise a good night.