Our driver, a twenty-seven year old Mongolian guy, was a legend. Not only did he get us safely down some slippery slopes in a van that looked like it had only just managed to make it out of soviet-era Mongolia alive, but he also managed to keep the van in good repair, so much so that we only had to stop twice with car trouble (flat tyres, on both occasisions) the entire three weeks we were in the countryside.
Whenever we stopped, he got out his yoga mat and slipped under the van for repairs (or maybe just to tinker, who knows). During our two-night stop at the Khongor sand dunes, he removed the entire transmission, or something like that (something that’s a big deal, anyway). And how better to access the engine of a Russian van than to remove the front seat?