Day 21 - Beijing / China

Bratislava to Beijing
Beijing / China

Early in the morning our Volkswagen Touareg finally leaves a customs zone and we are ready for further travel towards Beijing. Before the start we go to the Police Department of the city of Erenhot. We need to get transit numbers and issue temporary Chinese driver's license. According to the local law, we can not drive a car on the territory of China with the driving license of another state. The whole procedure takes just a few minutes. Two young police officers check documents, make some photos of the car and give us all necessary documents. Now we can officially move around the territory of China.

After leaving the city we notice that the scenery outside the window is very similar to the one  we saw round the border in Mongolia. And this is not surprising as the territory we are moving along is called  Inner Mongolia and is a part of the Gobi desert. For a few dozens of  kilometers we come across road signs duplicated in two languages: Chinese and Mongolian.

Just a few kilometers from the city we start noticing the figures of dinosaurs along the roadside. The fact is, that a huge number of remains of these prehistoric reptiles were found in Gobi. That's why Chinese authorities decided to make a huge recreation area devoted to dinosaurs just outside the city. Construction is in full swing, but even now walking through the park under construction is quite interesting.

On-Board computer informs us that one of the rear wheels is slightly flattened. We notice a parked truck just outside a building and a group of bustling mechanics. We drive up to them with a request to pump up the wheels and understand that we arrived at a place where, unlike a sleepy border city, the live is boiling. The building is packed with tiny shops with a brick trade going around. A huge number of trucks are parked in the courtyard, waiting for their turn to be loaded. A little further Mongolian Shuttle traders've purchased some fertilizers and now are habitually loading their UAZes as much as possible. All useful space is filled with bags. Here's a dealer packing fertilizer in the engine compartment. Another one was loaded so full that the springs have sunk. The situation is immediately corrected. The car is lifted and the springs are reinforced with the help of wooden spacers. We can watch it endlessly, but we have a long road ahead.

And we should admit that this road is of the highest quality, at the level of European or American ones. Classy two-lane highway allows you to keep a sufficiently high speed. Passenger transport is very rare here, so most of the time we basically overtake big trucks. But closer to the capital the flow is getting tighter, but we still move at a fairly high speed.

It's late at night when we finally arrive in Beijing. The final point of our trip is the flagship Volkswagen dealer, located in the city center. We left behind over 17,500 kilometers of roads of different quality and nine countries. We have actually completely crossed the largest continent, from West to East.

A little tired but extremely satisfied we finish our journey from Bratislava to Beijing.