Up Up and Awayski

Trip Start Mar 06, 2005
Trip End ??? ??, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Sunday, March 6, 2005

By the time you read this we will be airborne, and on our way to St Petersberg (the Venice of the north) the starting point for the first few days of our yearlong adventure. We then plan to take the overnight train to Moscow and it's from there that we'll begin our Trans-Siberian rail journey.

Over the course of the next month we will be traversing Central Asia from Moscow to Beijing, making stops in Irkutsk (Unofficial capital of Siberia), and Ulaan Bator (Mongolia) staying with local families in order to briefly explore some of the more remote locations.
I recently checked on a Global weather site; Irkutsk and Ulaan Bator have been hovering anywhere between minus 25 to minus 40 Centigrade, ouch!
Nice weather for staying in a tent! But more of that later...

The only reason we can be so specific about our travel arrangements for this first month of our journey is that travel in Mongolia and Russia needs to be carefully planned, because in order to obtain Visas, accommodation has to be pre-booked and confirmed for the entire duration of your stay. (Not the case in China). We therefore decided to use a 'Russian' agency to buy our rail tickets and supply all the necessary documentation and evidence required. It was vital that the dates on the Visas coincided with the specific rail journey we wanted to make. (Entry and exit dates, including border crossings, cannot be deviated from!) But I digress...

So with time counting down, and the last travelogue from home soil almost complete, it just remains for 'meandher' to say Thank You!...

Thank you... For the 'bon voyage' messages we have received from everyone, especially the superb 'send off'Jane received from her work colleagues!

Thank you... To the 'two Daves', for organising an excellent farewell weekend of 'walking and debauchery' in the Lake District. My kidneys should just recover in time to sample some Russian Vodka!

Thank you... for both the excellent and useless advice we've received from our friends (e.g. "get the best travel insurance you can afford". "Don't stand up in a canoe", and "don't eat yellow snow" etc etc).

FINALLY, as we hear our flight being called in the background, it is with great excitement, tempered by just a little trepidation that we can say goodbye to blighty and hello to Russia.

If all goes according to plan, we won't see you again until March 2006, so until then...

read-on for our adventures.

Warmest wishes,Aubrey and Jane. (meandher).

PS don't forget to send emails to us! "Oh and...keep working!!!"
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