Day 38

7. June 2000, Baotou to Zhangjiakou

For our last day of real driving in China, the Rally Office came up with one additional competitive section in the outskirts of Inner Mongolia. This also gives us a chance to see some of the nice countryside of the area. Having mostly seen desserts for the past two weeks, we thoroughly enjoy the scenery. The test section itself is, like all other test sections in China, reasonably timed, so we make it with zero penalty.
In the evening we arrive in Zhangjiakou, a small city outside of Beijing where we are all preparing for the end of the "London to Peking" rally tomorrow. Everyone is getting his car cleaned for the convoy.

Overall 1 hour 10 minutes penalty

The official results can be looked up on this website

A short diversion through a river bed with car 50 following us. The Australian/New Zealand Rover with an all-female crew had been placed second in our class until a few days ago when they unfortunately made a mistake with their timing that cost them 60 minutes. They are now third in our class and another Rover (same model) with a Hongkong/UK crew is now directly behind us.

Beginning of today's test section near a lake resort.

This truck driver uses a stone to block his wheels. Unfortunately, most Chinese truck drivers use big stones as "warning triangles". They build a fence of stones around their vehicles when they break down. As if the fear of hitting a stone was bigger than hitting the truck. When they have repaired their truck, they drive off and leave the stones where they have placed them. Nobody ever bothers to pick these stones up, even the police. So every five kilometres in China (more on steep climbs where trucks break down) one has to maneuver around these stones on the street.
Swiss team with their Studebaker in front.

After the test we have to drive through several diversions due to construction before we get back on the highway.



We are driving into the hills along a river valley.

Other then damaged tarmac, the test section's hardest bit is this dry river bed.

Mongolian shepherd with sheep and goat.

Some green, blue skies with clouds, at last

Zhangjiakou - small Chinese city surrounded by hills.