We travelled THE trans siberian for four whole days! Including many a vodka night, lazy days, lots of cards, scrabble and sing-a-longs with our new French guitarist friend. We managed to fit 17 people into one 4-berth
cabin! The three of us were glad we had bought out our 4th bed; managing to spread out completely. It was a long journey but interesting to see Russian villages fly by; crossing the Asian border and into siberian
Our big stop was Irkutsk, which we were thoroughly disappointed by. One night in Lystvanyanka was enough but with the sun shining and the help of the only friendly man in all of Irkutsk, we sought a tent and headed off
to Olkhon Island for some nights on the beach. Lovely weather but tough on our backs, camping without mats!
Lake Baikal is absolutely stunning, even bigger than we could have imagined. We loved it so much we even took to bathing in it, despite the freezing temperatures!
Arrived into Mongolia on the 2nd, having seen in Kate’s 21st on the train with condensed milk with 21 matches in it! Everyone on the train singing Happy Birthday! The Mongolian welcome was very warm compared with Russian reception, seeing a big sign saying JULIA PARKHOUSE on the platform! UB guesthouse seems to be the place where all trans-sib ppl convene. We ended the day at a Mongolian nightclub – Face – for kate’s
birthday, with a really ecclectic bunch ranging from 18-65! Julia made some mongolian friends and some girls kept coming up to me going ‘you Mongol?’ and pointing to my eyes!
Then headed way out west for a six day ger (traditional mongolian circular tents) excursion of the mongolian countryside! We were not anticipating the appalling states of the ‘roads’ just dirt tracks resulting in sheer exhaustion of being tossed around in a jeep for 12 hours! During the 6 days we played snap with local children, went to a national park, swam in the White Lake, horse rode up to a volcano, got in a cave with some
locals one of whom proceeded to grip Kate very tightly whilst we were taking photos. We also visited the old capital,Karakorum, and the first monastery in Mongolia, Erdene Zuu. All of this was fuelled on a diet of mutton, goats milk and stodge (in various forms)- not pleasant.
Net result; one bad reaction, Julia vomiting and Sophia feverish followed by the runs…
Next stop: Beijing for some Olympic action!