We nearly did not make it to the airport in the Polo. We got most of the way down the M4 towards Heathrow before we heard a loud clunk as if something was caught up underneath the car.
I checked the wing mirror and saw a large metal thing bouncing away from underneath the Polo across the lanes of the motorway. I asked Tim if he had seen anything ahead of him to which he answered “No” leading us to conclude that the metal ‘thing’ came off the car. Ooops. At this point we felt like we were taking part in a Top Gear challenge except there was no rubbish car to switch to in the event our cheap buy fail.
We carried on driving towards Heathrow with no black smoke and no warning lights. We both assumed we had escaped any major damage. Pulled in to refuel and the Polo would not restart. Ah. The battery warning light was red and we had to push the car (I say “we” I mean Tim) and attempt to bump start it. This worked on the third attempt & we were back on our way to Heathrow.
We decided against a stop at a saddlery to buy me the riding gloves I had forgotten and went straight to the Crowne Plaza, Heathrow where we had booked one night’s stay. Made it OK and Tim parked in the car park with the engine running while I checked in. The guy who was coming to collect the car for scrap didn’t turn up – who can blame him?! Tim rang round & managed to find a scrap yard nearby and set off to get rid of the Polo.
Tim broke down 5 minutes up the road and thankfully still had his AA membership so waited an hour in the car in the lovely cold weather for them to restart the car & set him on his way to the scrap yard.
All worked out well in the end and as the previous entry shows we have made it back to Outer Mongolia. Much has changed since our last visit here in 2006. There are veggie restaurants for a start, which is where we had our first meal. Nice for me (had a lovely meal of seitan and mashed potato; really I enjoyed it), not so good for Tim so agreed to take turns in choosing where we eat.
Lotus Guesthouse is clean, warmish (our room is chilly but we have down sleeping bags to use as extra covers). The bathroom has two loos & two showers and is a mixed bathroom. The showers are super fancy with all sorts of different jets (none of which work) and an inbuilt entertainment system (a radio that doesn’t work). The toilets are unusual in that they are so far forward you cannot sit on them normally and shut the door. One has to turn sideways.
Pictures to follow of the guesthouse once Tim wakes up & helps me. It is 15:15 here and he is still sleeping.
We have found out there is a place one can go to drive a tank, shoot a few rounds from an AK47 and fire rockets. Prices are reasonable and it sounds fun. It isn’t open until May so will keep you posted.
Photo of Sam practising her horse riding technique.