“In Trouble Again”

I was talking with an old colleague last week. Colin is the creative director at an agency that I used to do some work for. He was helping me sort out a proof copy of my latest book, and confessed to having had a quick read as he was converting the file. He told me that the first chapter, In Trouble Again, was so funny that he nearly soiled himself when he read it. I had to point out that I nearly soiled myself too, out of fear during the experience I was describing rather than amusement. Here is a […]

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Distance so far: 8493 km. Weather: dry and cold, guess -10 degrees C An early dinner today as the brilliant Mongolian restaurant carriage leaves us at 19.10 local time. I will miss everything about it other than possibly its temperature. We have just arrived on the Mongolian side of the Chinese border. The soldiers are saluting the train as it arrives on the platform, heralding several hours of paperwork, searches and inspections. I have filled in the paperwork for both sides already, so hopefully I’m ahead of the game. I have to tell you that the Mongolian border officers here […]

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An epic day crossing the Gobi desert to the soundtrack of “Wish You Were Here” (Discovery edition). When we stopped at Choyr I dashed up front (it’s still a long way) to do my trainspotter bit. There was some funky young Mongolian guy doing the same – dressed in a blue flying suit, brown leather flying boots, a peaked Mao hat, some Oakley shades and carrying a silver topped stick (see the picture below). He smiled and then proceeded to climb up the ladder onto the engine – he was the driver! I have to say he looks very happy […]

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I’ve made a point of getting up early for our arrival into Mongolia’s capital city. Its 06.30 Beijing time and still quite dark. I will describe the temperature as “quite cold”, somewhere in the -30s C. The place is buzzing with locals carrying huge numbers of parcels wrapped in brown paper, mixed with western tourists with serious looking rucksacks and insulated climbing boots. Actually not much to see on the platform, but I’m guessing that any sane Mongolian would conduct their retail activities indoors. I can see coloured disco lights coming from outside the station, and also a door signed […]

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Distance covered so far: 7393 km, estimated temperature: -24 degrees C Greetings from Mongolia! I’ve just crossed the frontier from the Russian Federation and am now sat quietly in the darkness on the Mongolian border. It’s all very Cold War again – soldiers standing to attention on the platform and immigration officers carrying briefcases ready to board and examine everyone that they find on train 004. Guard dogs roam freely on the platform. I think my paperwork is in order, but judging by the degree of close inspection my visa was given before being taken away, I’m not 100% sure. […]

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Dzamyn Ude

Distance so far: 10260 km, -18 C, clear and dark, GMT +8 Greetings from Mongolia! It’s another night on the border, this time we leave Mongolia and enter China. We have covered 1118 km in the last 24 hours. As I write this I’m sat in my compartment in the silence and semi darkness at Dzamyn Ude waiting for customs and immigration clearance. On the plus side, I’m drinking Russian champagne whilst I wait. More of this later! It’s been another great day and I’m sad to be leaving Mongolia so soon. I had planned to get off for a […]

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