Beijing Railway Station (early morning)

5am 26 July: we finally made it out of China and onto the official Trans-Siberian Railway. 

Their isn’t actually a train called the Trans-Sib (a myth apparently), but there is certainly a railway line that stretches all the way to Russia, through Mongolia.  Another overnight sleeper, but thankfully we had a western toilet and a restaurant car where we could actually find a seat and not fight off the local who pay for cheap seats and hog the dining cart. 

8.30pm 26 July: Arrive at the border for 4 hours of immigration and wheeel (boagey) changing. 

There is a 100mm difference in the wheel spacing of the rail track so the under carriage needs to be changed on each carriage before we could enter Mongolia.  Complicated, long and noisy process, but interesting.  Basically they use hydrolics to jack up the carriage (with you in it) and then change the wheels over, then slowly link the whole train back together again.  Around 12.30am we are woken by a Mongolian official who says ‘sit, take off your glasses’ to Nic who is dazed from taking sinus tablets.  Waldu was struggling to keep his eyes open (sleeping tablet) so we must have looked a mess.  They took a while to look, relook and then walked off with our passports (like the Chinese did on leaving their side).  We got them back an hour later.

1.30pm 27 July: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  Trust me Mum, perfectly safe to balance on vent system and stick your head out the window.

She'll be coming round the mountain...