Last you heard we were stuck in Romania? No longer, my friends. The epic team, Iberian Jalopy Seeks Mongolia, does as it promised and seeks Mongolia. Two borders have been crossed. The Russian Bear has been breached. The car cannot be stopped (that's why we are replacing the break pads as we speak - it got too dangerous).
A long conversation at the border about the validity of a Spanish letter allowing us to drive someone else's car in Russia, we cross, we get stopped, we get searched, we get blackmailed. I pay up.
Conclusion - we don't want to be in Russia, so we are driving, nonstop, through this place, stopping simply to pee and switch drivers (back seat nappers hate moving taking the wheel) and eating tuna fish sandwiches and prianiki (Russian pastries) as we pass city after city and avoid cop after cop, hoping to escape the inevitable drain such interactions will bring on our bank accounts. So we press on, attempting to cross, unscathed, though overstressed, into Mongolia tomorrow (Monday, but maybe Tuesday - we are now 12 hours ahead of Texas), skipping Kazakhstan and any potential for border disputes. Ukraine held the first nine Mongol Rally cars that we encountered, followed, confused and passed, but that's a story for another time. Chris awaits, trying to understand the Russians fixing our car.
Bumpy, washed out dirt roads of Mongolia here we come!