Border Control Madness


We arrive at the border 11.30 ish Mongolian side which goes fairly smoothly as it’s nearly lunch only one hiccup I can’t find the vital bit of paperwork needed well it was only a month ago! They are getting frantic now as their tummies are rumbling and can’t release us to the next zone with out it so they start talking about fines. For those who don’t know me I don’t part with money easily so I start emptying out various pockets and bags until some 20mins later I wave the crucial paperwork, this now sorted we are wisked to the next customs control outside. Two ladies are sat at a table under the shelter of the building on receiving the passports one calls to a stray dog. No this geriatric spaniel turns out to be the sniffer dog which to get it do anything she has to throw a stone for it to chase, now awake it is persuaded to jump onto my seat to sniff our panniers and bags, Kev and I stifle our smirks. It takes a few attempts and stones to sniff the other side before we are declared clear. We now join the Russian queue which for the first time is single lane and no chance of sneaking to the front. The queue is at a standstill so we prepare lunch at the verge side, in over an hour we have only moved one or two cars so go to check out who is in queue with us, we find three lots of French one of whom lost his vehicle (a big Dodge ram pickup with camper on the bed) in a river crossing in Mongolia the water was up to the doors and very fast flowing when he dropped into a hole and after that the current swept it away. All people were ok and the vehicle recovered to UB but he now has to explain where his vehicle is to the border guards and why he is travelling without it. We are obviously having too much fun as a guard comes back and tells everyone to get in their vehicles, he turns a blind eye to us (must like the bike) so instead I use up our phone card on the internet. We are one away from the from the front “hello again” it’s one of the Romanians from “Fairfield” we have a quick catch up they got split up in the storm two chasing it, two trying to out run it good photos they said. It seems UB is always manic they saw three accidents and nearly came a cropper a couple of times so we didn’t miss much.
Our actual exit is painless unlike the Mongolian cars which they go over with a fine tooth comb taking everything out, we get a much livelier spaniel to sniff our stuff. All in all it’s taken about 5 hours but we’re back in Russia next stop Ulan Ude.
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