This was one of the few tarmac roads in Mongolia in 2004. The rest of the country was criss-crossed by a network of meandering dirt tracks, that were hidden under snow in winter and became impassable, muddy tracks in summer.
Despite its sturdy appearance the tarmac surface was pitted with holes and crevasses that damaged tyres and wreaked havoc on suspension.
Those to blame? The country’s seasonal extremes, where temperatures fluctuate between 30C in summer and -40C in winter.
[‘The Age’ newspaper, 4 June 2005]