After leaving the ancient capital we headed for Tsenker Hot Springs. It took a while to get there, but the drive was worth it. Relaxing in thermal pools after many hours on the road and wandering into the forests was delightful. The next day we started driving around 9am, and found ourselves part of the NZ off-road group who were travelling from Vladivostok to London. Battar, our driver decided to try and head them off before the pass, so he took the Russian van across country through very boggy ground and guess what? A serious bog! The NZers to the rescue! They winched us out no trouble! Another win for the Kiwis! We visited Battar’s town and met his wife, twins and father at their home. It was a lovely opportunity to experience life in the suburbs! Then we climbed to the rim of an extinct volcano! After that we drove to Lake White, still half covered in ice and a bit too cold for a swim! Today we covered a lot of ground, lunched by a stream with goats and sheep, then drove onwards and upwards through the mountains for hours over very rough tracks.