Welcome to Siberia

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

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Flag of Russian Federation  ,
Sunday, January 29, 2006

After an enjoyable 26 hours on the train, we arrived on Friday evening in Ekaterinburg and were transferred to our homestay with Lidia. To continue on the tradition of confusing the hell out of the language portion of our brains, we are trying to get by in German with her.

Just as it was getting warmer (only -15), we are again thrown into the deep freeze - it was around -26 here yesterday. This is the day that we were organised to go Dog Sledding!

After a slightly slow start (something to do with Japanese cars not being used to the cold like the Ladas/Skodas), we went along to the Dog House where we collected the Khaski (real siberian Huskies) dogs who were extremely well trained. They were loaded into pidgeon hole like spaces in the van for the 30 minute trip to the forests.

On the way there (after literally getting cold feet whilst waiting for the dogs to be prepared), we changed boots and added extra socks - Dave ended up sporting something which looked like it was formerly belonging to the Yeti / hollowed out and made into a shoe! After 20 minutes of the journey and 3 pairs of socks, 1 small boot inside the Yeti boot, his feet were still cold - wimp!

It was only later that we noticed the frozen bottle of water on the floor INSIDE THE VAN!!! (see photo).

After some lengthy training ("There is the brake, ok see you in 2 km"), we started with Dave "driving" and Emma lounging around as usual. Progressing from 4 upwards to 7 dogs, we covered about 5 km through some lovely forest, although Emma (and Dave) were terrified when she was in charge of the brake / steering (anyone who remembers the Skidoo incident of Les Arcs will understand why!)

During this time, Dave believes he has developed frost bite in one of his fingers - only time will tell!

This morning we had a guide who showed us around the key sights in Ekaterinburg which was very interesting and a great opportunity to talk a bit more about Russian culture / politics and history.
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