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MOTOREX Magazine 2013 100 EN

  • Text
  • Motorex
  • Compressor
  • Convoy
  • Islands
  • Ecopress
  • Hydraulic
  • Oekosynt
  • Reform
  • Forestry
  • Hees
MOTOREX_Magazine_99_E

eport continued The

eport continued The entire caravan pictured in front of Rongwo monastery in Longwu (China). The gearbox of a “sick” 2CV was replaced in front of the team’s hotel in Turpan, China. The Mongols are pastoral nomads. Most live in yurts. AN ESCort ALONG THE WAY The border crossing to China was uneventful. The papers sent ahead from Switzerland had arrived safely at the border post, as had Tony, the team’s friendly Chinese escort (all travelers from Europe who are using their own passenger car or motorcycle have to have an official escort). The roads soon began to improve as well. On July 2, the group arrived at the Chinese city of Turpan. With the temperature at 42 °C in the shade, the gearbox of one of the 2CVs had to be replaced on the pavement in front of the hotel. All the jolting had broken a shifter fork. Once more, the mobile spare parts store in the Steyr proved to be indispensable. A car wash freed each car of an average of 10 kilos of dried mud, and an oil change using MOTOREX products soon got the convoy running smoothly once again. The next stage of the journey ran through Tibet. Stops at various Buddhist monasteries such as Rongwo, Rebong and Labrang filled everyone with calm tranquility. The vastness of Tibet was dotted with yurts, the round, felt-covered tents of the pastoral nomads. Besides yaks, the typical cattle of Tibet, the barren soils were also grazed by horses, sheep and goats. On arriving in Beijing, the caravan received an official salute from the police. AT CITROËN IN BEIJING Traveling on well constructed roads, braving frequent rain and heavy traffic, the convoy reached Beijing on July 26. The contrasts and vastness of China made a powerful impression on everyone in the group. Citroën China insisted on officially welcoming the caravan, organizing a press conference in which the intrepid 2CVs were the clear center of attention. A tour of the major cultural highlights was followed by a changing of the guard; some of the travelers had to end their 14

Kharkhorin, Mongolia was once the capital of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan. A young monk is fascinated by one of the 2CVs. Pascal Gertsch explains the medical supplies to the hospital management in Khovd. journey in Beijing as duty called them back to work in Switzerland. They were replaced by others, and the reconstituted team set out for Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. The roads became noticeably worse. Staying on the road and not getting stuck in the mud was a challenge for man and machine alike. A NEW JOURNEY BEGINS Following the border crossing into Mongolia at Erenhot, the group was met by Onour, a new official escort. The Mongol guide spoke perfect French, and her knowledge proved invaluable for the convoy. The contrasts in Ulan Bator were stark to say the least, with skyscrapers on one hand and thousands of nomads with yurts and herds of animals on the other. On August 7, the expedition reached Karakorum, the old capital of Genghis Khan’s empire, founded in 1206. Somehow his footsteps and aura are still present today. Rarely, the travelers met kindred spirits from all ends of the earth in 2CVs, Fiat Pandas or, somewhat exhausted, most on bicycles. The convoy was now heading west again, and the group faced the four-thousand-meter peaks of the Altai mountains, the last major obstacle before its ultimate destination in the small city of Khovd. EAGERLY AWAITED After three months of travel, the convoy reached Khovd on August 13, 2012. The director of the regional hospital and her board were eagerly awaiting the supplies the After three months of travel, the convoy reached Khovd on August 13, 2012. convoy carried. Doctors in Khovd are in regular Internet contact with their peers around the world. Indeed, the Swiss benefactors would never have learned about the needs of the hospital in Khovd otherwise. Now these contacts grew closer as the visitors exchanged information about the mobile sterilization unit and medicines. With just a very few exceptions at border crossings or in traffic, the inhabitants of all fourteen countries the caravan traversed gave the four 2CVs and their escort vehicle a friendly welcome. For a detailed description of the journey and plenty of interesting additional information in French, please see: www.modern-caravan.com. • motorex Magazine 99/50 I JULY 2013 15

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