■ETAP-1 11 AUG. 2019 ULAANBAATAR⇒BAYANGOBI
L：109.51km S：251.53km L：49.13km TOTAL：410.17km
「Chasing the Heat Shimmer at the Northern Edge of the Gobi」
On the first day of the rally, everyone heads west along the northern edge of the Gobi. That place is a jumbled mix of Gobi desert and prairie grasslands. After your grand start from Ulaanbaatar you head south along the liaison. You move ahead while alongside a new highway that links to the new airport. You refuel at a gas station 100 kilometers ahead and finally start off on the first SS or special stage. Here, you need to let your excitement subside and keep running steadily along. Though a dirt road this is in fact a high-speed section. The feeling of release as you run through the Mongol prairie is intense and the emotion that grips you might make you hit the gas too much. In the later part of this stage, careful navigation decides who wins and who loses. After several CAP (compass heading) adjustments at the piste (dirt track) crossing, the first day’s SS comes to a safe finish. You take the liaison and arrive at your bivouac camp and the sun still hasn’t sunk very far in the sky.
■ETAP-2 12 AUG. 2019 BAYANGOBI⇒KHAR NUUR
SS-1：19.00km L：655.90km SS-2：96.84km TOTAL：771.74km
「Beautiful Khar Nuur, a Dream you can see on the Earth」
Today after leaving the bivouac you have a short SS-1 of a mere 19 kilometers. From there you take a very long liaison but never seem to get bored. Here you can see beautiful valleys, a lake whose color looks like the Mongolian blue sky is melting into it, and the northern area with the tiger forests of Siberia. The evergreen forest belt is magnificent. After refueling at a small town, you head towards SS2 with the sun starting to drop along the horizon. You see land with wide cracks and dried riverbeds, you proceed cautiously ahead and finally beautiful Khar Nuur lake appears ahead. This is a super-special moment to savor.
■ETAP-3 13 AUG. 2019 KHAR NUUR⇒KHAR NUUR
SS-1：113.91km L：1.26km SS-2：87.20km TOTAL：202.37km
「River starting from the Dunes」
You take a loop route starting from and ending at Khar Nuur.
With Khar Nuur on your left, you dash along the sand and start crossing the dunes.
You choose your route carefully, avoiding the peaks.
Just running wildly ahead will bring a painful payback. After passing the checkpoint you precede ahead along a dense bushy area, to one side you see a fountain of water appearing magically out of the sand, you keep moving ahead along a bushy area.
After crossing the mountains you reach the SS (special stage) finish area in a small town. After refueling you head for SS-2. You dash along the SS-2 at high-speed and then enter a mountainous section. Driving in this area is tough and you can’t reach high speeds.
After slowly passing over this area you again catch sight of Khar Nuur. The goal is right before your eyes. Tonight’s dinner will be a party along the lakeside.
■ETAP-4 14 AUG. 2019 KHAR NUUR⇒ALTAY
SS-1：96.36km L：60.50km SS-2：216.38km L：7.60km TOTAL：380.84km
「Dreams of Gobi and Altay」
The place name Altay is rather common in this area but the town of Altay you come upon here calls back the days of primitive Asia.
You finish a short SS-1 and use the liaison, to pass through Uliastay which was once a local governor’s town in the Qing Dynasty.
The SS-2 starts out in a region of shrubbery and rally drivers proceed while being cautious of oncoming vehicles heading to Uliastay.
After crossing over a number of mountains and skirting some towns, the vehicles proceed through the Gobi. You then pass alongside a man-made lake and upon coming to an area that seems like an oasis you make a CAP adjustment. Just before a town you pass over a bridge, dash along a high-speed piste which is an unpaved trail to reach the SS goal.
Today your bivouac camp is a hotel.
■ETAP-5 15 AUG. 2019 ALTAY⇒ALTAY
L：2.97km SS-1：278.68km L：8.02km SS-2：293.45km L：22.21km TOTAL：605.33km
「Altay and Ring Wandering」
The first half of the rally was along a mountainous course that slowed the pace and is a fight with frustration finally ending at the check point.
After that, you run along a high-speed piste (unpaved track or road) and head full speed to the west. Your route extends far away to the west.
The first half of SS-2 is a high-speed dirt road. Proceeding along a wide valley between mountains you finally see a lake and the lakeside town comes into view. You pass through the edge of town on a hard road surface that is barely drivable and then along a high-speed dirt track.
On reaching a town at the base of a mountain, you go along a maze-like road and run along piste with many dried riverbeds from the side of a stadium. There are many boulders and you can’t seem to pick up the pace.
After reaching a small town, you make a CAP adjustment and drive along a high-speed dirt road. This long SS has come to an end.
The liaison takes you down the mountain and on crossing the bridge, you drive along a paved road to the bivouac.
■ETAP-6 16 AUG. 2019 ALTAY⇒SAYHAN OVOO
L：7.31km SS-1：265.00km L：155.42km SS-2：277.88km L：18.88km TOTAL：724.49km
「Altai and the Dream Ruins」
Leaving the bivouac camp you drive a little ways along a dirt road. Those nervous about remaining fuel, fill up here.
SS-1 is a high-speed piste and you feel happy.
At the checkpoint (CP) you make a CAP adjustment and drive onwards. The latter half has a lot of ups and downs. You finally hit a broad main piste and reach the SS finish.
After crossing a bridge you refuel. Then you drive along a long paved road, proceed along the liaison, finish refueling and then go onwards to SS-2.
Finally, you cross the main piste (unpaved road). You next pass over a huge coal mine. Then you run along an easy-to-drive piste.
You skirt a town and again proceed along an easy-to-drive piste. In the next town, you slowly take a corner, move through an area of shrubbery and reach your goal just before a river.
■ETAP-7 17 AUG. 2019 SAYHAN OVOO⇒SAYHAN OVOO
L：18.23km SS-1：271.35km L：25.47km SS-2：253.60km L：18.73km TOTAL：587.38km
「Rally moves to the Final Stage」
The rally will last another 2 days. Though this is a tough rally, realizing there are only a few days left makes one feel somehow sad.
This camp bivouac at Sayhan Ovoo in particular gives you a strange, empty kind of feeling. The religious persecution from the former communist era of oppression here likely led to the tragedy at this place that was more than minor.
Gazing at these ruins not even 100 years old and yet that look like something from ancient times evokes a strange feeling.
The meaning seems to sink in as you drive further along in this rally now soon coming to a close.
The SS-1 route first takes you to pass over a huge dry lake and then over gently rolling hills, navigation seems to be tougher than usual.
Even still, you pass the town and drive on a piste as smooth as a highway. You reach the goal in a lush green area.
After moving to a paved road, you refuel and then proceed on to SS-2.
You start off on a grassy prairie and drive along a piste with lots of sand. You cross a small creek, pass a number of mountains and head southward.
The latter half of the route is a high-speed piste. Tonight will be your last bivouac camp night.
■ETAP-8 18 AUG. 2019 SAYHAN OVOO⇒ULAANBAATAR
L：24.34km S：221.70km L：311.85km P：16.49km TOTAL：574.38km
「Triumphal end is on Sunday」
After leaving the bivouac camp you all head for the group start point. You all line up together and wait for the helicopter.
Once the helicopter arrives and hovers overhead, the flag drops and you all take off in a simultaneous start!
This is the finale of the 25th Rally Mongolia having a total length of about 4,300 kilometers and special stages amounting to 2,800 kilometers.
During the trip back to Ulaanbaatar which just seems to keep on growing, you might get a funny feeling as if you have just come back to your present world after a mysterious travel through time.