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Motor extreme: Turbo-donkey with a digestive problem

Caught in the ravine labyrinth of the Altai-Mountains with six Touaregs – where man and machine merge in unity around the freezing point.



VW Touareg Volkswagen Experience 360 Mongolian Steppe with Cashmere Goats
Picture by T. Micke

Our guide Matthias prepares us for the astonishment: With philosophic slogans like "Be nice to your donkey, because he is the one carrying you" and "Even a Touareg is only a human being", which he propagates over the radio of our six vehicles, he seems to anticipate, that not only dog and lord ling but also vehicle and driver begin to resemble each other more and more through shared adventures. As we slowly come closer to Ulan Bator, the destination of our journey after ten days and more than 3000 Kilometers, not only contacts wearer among us are going nuts because of the fine Gobi sand, but also the electronics of our two cars.

After an exceptionally cold night at the foothills of the Altai-Mountains at the height of 2000 meters Iím not the only one lamenting about freezing on the too cold ground on which I laid with my too thin sleeping bag. Also one of our Turbo-Touaregs, after incipiently murmuring via adventurous error message decides to change offended position in the mornings, with insistence to only drive crawling tempo. Coldness and bad Diesel quality have frozen up its pilotages. Some inclinations can only be made with starting and without stopping on the bounce. An enthralling game, because Andreas has to employ "scouting" in front and turns more than once, because nothing keeps moving.

VW Touareg Volkswagen Experience 360 Mongolian Steppe with Cow-Carcass
Picture by T. Micke

Furthermore it is not so easy to find the right route back into the Mongolian Steppe in-between the fierce submontane valleys, through which mainly goat trails lead to rocky dead ends. Solitary-idyllic yurt mountains nuzzle into many a green side-valley and reputedly there should be a good deal of meadows full of edelweiss, that donít have to be protected and therefore can be picked in bunches.

Marmots whistle after us from a certain distance, until finally after hours a dry river bed leads us out of the alpine labyrinth, and after our first test gallop in the lowlands even our freezing solicitude Touareg has no digestive problems anymore.

Mongolian Steppe Brumby-Family
Picture by T. Micke

The path to Ulan Bator is free, after days in the dust we flit with a 100 km/h over the sand slope towards the warm hotel shower which we are already desperately longing for. 260 Kilometers northwest of the city Mandalgovi suddenly appear Yurt Hotels for desert getaways from the oncoming capital on the slope edge. No real adventure actually, if we think about our routes, but it seems to maybe sharpen the sense of these "ordinary" tourists for the protection-worthy one of a kind landscape of Mongolia.

VW Touareg Volkswagen Experience 360 Mongolia Rear
Picture by T. Micke

Immediately after the civilized world welcomes us back: For the last five kilometers an asphalted road leads up until Ulan Bator, through a juicy green hilly landscape, which could be part of Ireland or Scotland without any problem. What the aged pope – apparently after long, turbulent flights – loved to do, when he had solid ground under his feet, also clings to our heart again in the end: A down-to-earth kiss for this truthfully divine land of adventure Mongolia!

VW Touareg Volkswagen Experience 360 Mongolian Touareg-Ad
Picture by T. Micke

After all that fierceness Ulan Bator starts to appear like a pervert Fata Morgana in front of us: A Yurt suburb, in the background multistory buildings in the dust and an avenue of cell phone-ads, of which we prudently didnít see any of them on the route, because there is no mobile-connection at all. We queue into the evening rush hour and in doing so, almost feel like home already...


Adventure with the VW-Touareg: This world touring with six VW-Touareg was organized by Volkswagen Event-Trips. Further for all Touareg- and Phaeton-Fans possible to book VW-Event Trips around the world and exact dates and prices can be checked in the Internet at www.volkswagen-experience.de.


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© A report by Tobias Micke (21-06-05) – Contact