Our first contact with the outside world

Trip Start Feb 21, 2008
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Trip End Aug 21, 2008


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Where I stayed
Home stay with Olga and Sergai (?)

Flag of Russia  ,
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Well here we are in Siberia - despite being prepared for temps of -25 etc - it is in fact +2.  Our trip so far has exceeded all our expectations.  We have had a wonderful time in Moscow and at Lake Bakial.  The train ride from Moscow to Irkutsk was superb,  we were told that we would need to buy food for the train either before we traveled or that we would be able to buy it in the stations on the platforms from local vendors.  So we were well stocked up with Vodka and beer, cheese, bread plus plenty of cup a soups, - but everyday on the train a lady from the dining car came by and brought us 2 bottles of fizzy water - crackers, milk, tea and coffee and then at a time of our choosing a hot meal!!!

Champagne on the train is very expensive 3 pounds a bottle!! But I managed to persuade Tony to splash out on a couple of bottles for me!

Yesterday we came back from Lake Bakial - which was beautiful.  We stayed in a fishing village one night and with a lady called Tamara second night.  At the fishing village we had dry sauna - or Banya - then outside there was a hole cut into the ice with steps down to the water below - naturally Helen didn't go in but Tony did... We have it captured on video as he broke a film of ice on the water to get in.  We can't explain how wonderful and peaceful it was.

We are back on the train tomorrow at 5:45am and off to Mongolia.  We can't download any photos as I forgot the cable - plus I don't think I can explain in Russian that this is what I want to do - maybe I will be better at Chinese!  For those of you wondering I have managed the outside toilets and lived to tell the tale. 

When we get to Beijing I hope to update the blog with some photos and info from the earlier part of our trip.  We have only been traveling for 9 days but it has been great so far.
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