Sunday, July 15, 2007

Beth and Ruth are in Russia!

I spoke to Beth this evening. Their train had gotten in a little early and they were in a van heading for the village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe . She reported that the countryside around Irkutsk/Lake Baikal reminded her a lot of the IH90 route through northern Idaho.

They had a smooth trip from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk. Beth and Ruth shared a four person berth with a 73 year old lady and her 50-some traveling companion. They had all met at the Mongolian Ger camp. As expected, the Mongolian/Russian border was a 11 hour wait but no problems.

From the Russian Experience tour brochure here's what Beth and Ruth will be doing for the next few days:

Monday - Transfer directly from Station to the remoter village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km on rural roads). Your local guide shows you the village, the Old Church, and lake shoreline. Get the 20th Century out of your system in a real Russian banya (sauna) which will sharpen your appetite for home-cooked food for supper. Sleep soundly-the modern world is far, far away.

Tuesday - Leisurely lakeside walk (8km) to Ushkani Cape, and visit our friends the fishermen for lunch at their cabin. Leisurely walk back to Bolshoe Goloustnoe Village. Supper, then relish the hushed silence away from the tourist throng.

Wednesday - Transfer to Irkutsk (110km) and overnight in city apartment with host family. Day free to explore the city.

Here is a link to some pictures taken by another visitor around the village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/expectdelays/sets/693011/

Niel

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