Walking on water

Trip Start Apr 03, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did
Lake Baikal

Flag of Russia  , Siberia,
Saturday, April 13, 2013

So the past three nights have been the longest of our lives. You really do feel like you're in prison when you are stuck in a train for 3 days and most of the longest stops are at night.  When I say the longest stop we are only speaking about 30 mins here.

Good thing was we got to have a sleep in!!

Just in case we forgot we were in prison, I was swiftly reminded about this when I woke up and tried to go to the toilet.  As they lock the toilets during the long stops (this is because in the very fancy carriage we are in the toilets empty direct onto the train tracks so the little ladies don’t want any surprises now!!) I was not able to go.   I had to wait for the train to be on the move and then after the newbies were given their bed sheets and then tickets taken she finally opened the toilet, very good timing I must say!!

The toilets are nothing to write home about but I will.  They are feral!!  They seem to be getting worse!!  I was worried about the toilet paper running out, well you would need to start with toilet paper to begin with to run out right!!  Good thing we have our own supplies.  You can smell them a mile away and you would not want to touch them with a ten foot pole!!  I am going to have the best thighs ever after this journey!!

Steve and I had bought some wine for the journey ahead.  We invited Deb and Mike to come and join us in a beverage and a little chin wag.  One was a Russian wine which was quite interesting, nothing like my watered down fortified wine I have had in St Petersburg but let’s just say it would be an acquired taste.  So 2 bottles of wine later and we are at a stop and needing a toilet break, 30 mins stop and we only just got here dam…  Not to worry, Deb and set off on a mission.  After missing the big building which was the station and going to the other side of the tracks we finally found it.  So I got to use a nice and lovely clean toilet which didn’t smell, for a small fee of course.  Back on the train we go.

Now that I have a little Dutch courage in me I find that I can speak Russian really well.  So down to the dinning cart for some more wine.  He had no idea what I was saying but my trusty translation book got me through and he kicked some English chaps off their seat and raided the stash.  I was then even able to ask how much in Russian!!  I am getting good at this.

Glad we didn’t go for the 'cheap’ version of the train and have to sleep in the dorm style rooms.  They sleep up to 50 people and there are beds everywhere.  If we did pick the normal trip we would have had to share our prison cell with two extra people and then the room would be twice as hot and not comfy at all.  I am not snob am I??

So the agenda for the next few days is cards, blog, boredom, watch the world go by and read my book.  Shall be interesting…

The Russians are really good at rehydrated food.  Pretty much anything you can imagine has been rehydrated!!  Really getting over eating rehydrated food so can’t wait to get off and have a real meal!!

When we do get off we will have crossed 5 time zones!!!  What time is it again??

So, here we are in Listvyanka, a little town on Lake Baikal.  We are in a home stay here, which is a massive wooden house with interesting bathrooms.  In your room you have a bathroom which has the stud walls put up on the outside and then the actual wall is only on one side and made of cordex which is just some plastic stuff.

We had a free day today so went for a walk through the town, which is built in valleys over a 7km stretch.  We took in some of the local sites, had some pastries and tried to find the dog sledding with no luck.  So we headed back to the lake.  As the lake is still frozen we decided to go for a little adventure out onto it.  Steve went for a surf in the ice waves and I decided to put my foot through some.  On the main part of the lake we played a little ‘ice hockey’ with a chunk of ice which had broken off, of course I was better.

We then decided to head to the market where they sell their smoked fish.  When you see it all hanging it looks like rats as they put toothpicks in its belly to hold it open.

After exhausting ourselves in town we headed back to our B&B before dinner.  We needed to rest as the house was on top of a hill and it was a killer to climb and not slip on the snow and ice.

Dinner was crazy the amount of food we had was enough for 4 people but we had a good stab at it!! We also got these small pieces of bread like a baguette slice with butter, cucumber and a fishy on top.  All apart from its head!!  Left those for Steve but he could only stomach the one.  For desert was pancakes, they love pancakes and they give them to you for every meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner, it doesn’t matter there is always an occasion for a pancake!!
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