Back home - for now at least + Trans-Sib Itinerary

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Just back from Deb & Nicks after a good drive.

Had to post a couple of e-mails we received after sending some enquiries to Kostya (a Russian) related to our Trans-Sib trip!


Hi David.

Glad to hear from you.
I got some places on my mind where it is possible for you to stay. They are usually used in summer for tourists. I will ask them for price if you want.
They are just appartments. As for hotels rooms there are much more expensive.
For sure it is better to do it independently, I've seen a lot of tourist who did the same route just by their own and they enjoyed staying in here. Besisdes I will help you to book any tour if needed, cause mostly I can handle any of that tours, so I can be your free guide.
About tips - need to think a little bit more or ask someone. I will write later.
That is great - you are coming. I would like to get aquainted with your wife.



Sounds like Russia is going to be interesting! Must be the cold siberian winter! Needless to say, we're not booking with Kostya and decided to book with Monkey Business instead.

Here is a follow-up


Don't know the prices yet.
Fishing on the lake is possible.
May be wind-surfing.
Skiing - you know.
Sauna near the lake gotta be cool.

I'll call my friend and will find out more but a little bit later



Can't wait to try Wind surfing on a lake which is frozen 6m!!

Here is our itinerary which we booked through Monkey Business :

19-01-05 Arrive St Petersburg with transfer to homestay, with dinner for 3 nights
22-01-05 Depart SP night train at 23:55 (daily), no transfer
23-01-05 Arrive Moscow at 08:00 with trasnfer to homestay, with dinner for 3 nights
26-01-05 Transfer to station for departure on train #16 at 15:57 (daily)
27-01-05 Arrive Ekaterinburg at 20:32 for two full days stop-over
30-01-05 Extra day in Ekaterinburg dog sledging
31-01-05 Depart Ekaterinburg train #10 at 03:38 (odd dates -2)
02-02-05 Arrive Irkutsk at 09:06 for 2 nights stopover
04-02-05 Depart Irkutsk train #364 at 20:10 (daily)
06-02-05 Arrive Mongolia at 06:20 for 3 nights stopover
09-02-05 Depart Mongolia train #24 at 08:05 (Thursday)
10-02-05 Arrive Beijing at 14:31 with 4 nights City Central Hostel
14-02-05 Depart Beijing own arrangements

Took us a while to match the Trans-Sib itinerary with the RTW tickets. Mainly the complexity of the trans-sib. Some trains only run on odd days, others on even, others (e.g. Irkutsk -> Ulan Bator) only on Thursdays. and some you can only board in Moscow and they go all the way through but don't allow passengers to get on (only off), so takes a bit of planning.

A very useful book if you're thinking of doing the trans-sib is The Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas and a great site is The Man in Seat 61
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eandx on

Jack Daniels
I hope now that you have sacked Kostya (what's in a name?) the stories won't get tame. Let me know what a cool sauna is like.

Are you still around this weekend so we can bore you with our Kiwi Adventures? I am actually trying to outdo you in terms of sadness (and now only narrowingly failing) and am creating a similar travelblog - just so we don't have to spend a disproportionate amount of time incoherently piecing our 988 digital photos together. I'll send you the link when it's done.

Also, you now get a new fleece after drinking just one JD - albeit served in a pint glass. They still have loads of stock since nobody remembers to collect one after finishing their drink for some reason.

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