Mocka and off to The Distant Land of Valuble Furs
Trip Start Jan 16, 2009
40Trip End May 26, 2009
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The next day we had to go buy copius amounts of noodles and vodka in preperation for the 4 days on the train ahead
with. The train stopped every few hours at various stations where you could get off and buy various food things from the baboushkas on the platform so there was occasionally something other than noodles.
On the Wednesday we rolled into Irkustk where we immediatlely got on a bus and headed for Lake Baikal.
It took about an hour to get from Irkutsk to our hostel by the lake, and the terrifying icy roads don't seem to make anyone slow down too much. Lake Bakail is absolutley beautiful though, apparently last week there was no ice on it at all, but as you can see from the photos it is now ice as far as you can see
Our hostel was up a valley and was very much like a chalet style, all wooden and swiss looking. We were absolutey starving and wanted something that was definatley not noodles so we had phoned ahead to make sure there was some breakfast (well even though it was 12ish by the time we got there, it was 6am in Moscow time). Breakfast was awesome, cheese and bread and omlette and blini with jam, and tea and coffee (with the sugar already added (danger)).
We went for a walk with Ted (not his real name, but as close as we could get) the Honcho up to a view point. It was up this near vertical track with thigh high snow in places and we didnt just go up to one peak, we went down and up and down to 3 different peaks. It was so so beautiful though with the sunsetting and the snow everywhere, well worth it. The cold air i'm sure did us some good. We went and had a walk on the lake too, very odd, you can see like straight down through the ice to the bottom and feels really unnatural. Didn't see any fish in the lake but there were hundereds of smoked fish on a outdoor (!!!) market just next to the lake.
Tea was just as good as breakfast, mountains of rice and chicken and then this amazing cake, wow. As it was too cold to go outside we sat in and watched a DVD with the honcho in the nice warm and made friends with a cat called Red (except in russian).
The next day the whole group seperately but unanimously decided we didnt fancy an hours walk to a museum about the lake so we went half an hour to a little orthodox church instead
Then to the Huskies!
Emma, Declan and I had a go on the husky sledging and it was amazing, the mad people even let us stand on the back and do the steering. We went for 5k and it can have only taken not even 10 minutes, but it felt like ages and Emma's ears almost fell off in the cold but my ridiculous looking rabbit hat saved mine, my nose wasn't so lucky though!
Really was amazing, would recommend it :)
The dogs were beautiful but Alicia managed to stoke the one unfriendly dog in the place and got a but of a nip on her hand!!!!
That afternoon Emma W and Becca bought some of the fishies of the stall and had a feast! The rest of the group went on a hydrofoil thingy on the lake, I had a little sleep. After 4 days of doing nothing the great outdoors came as quite a shock!
We helped warm ourselves up with some vodka (mixed with diet coke in a very un russian way) and had amazing lamb and mash potato for tea, Emma W's lasted maybe 30seconds, it was spectacular to see
Unfortunatley at some point during tea, and whilst Lisa was half way through a shower, all the water in the hostel stopped. Just stopped working. And a bit later, all the heaters managed to blow a fuse in half our rooms. So we had no electricity or water!!
The fuse was easily fixed but there was still no water until after breakfast this morning so no showers!
We set off to Irkutsk at about 2 and got here about 3, its now about 4 and the internet is going to run out of money! so i shall upload this and be gone!
Until next time!
-Emma, Emma and Becca