Saturday 22nd July 2017 Khuzir to Irkutsk to Krasnoyarsk
The Krasnoiarsk group got picked up around 7.30am, and us around 8am. Right before to leave, there was the cat of the hostel who was playing with a field mouse.
In our mini-bus this time, there was a Chinese couple, a Russian girl, a Swiss-German couple from Switzerland Livia and Amir in their early thirties and the three of us. Livia had travelled a lot, starting with a 5-month in India trip when she was 18. She had travelled 6 months in Africa, in Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and other countries in this area. She had been to Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua, also to Colombia and South-East Asia, and Nepal. She had also travelled from Brisbane down to Melbourne for a month with some flights here and there. It was awesome to chat with her and share about the experiences we had in various countries. I wish we had more time to chat! Her boyfriend Amir was born in Bosnia but had grown up in Zurich. They had started in Moscow and were going all the way to Vladivostok from what I heard. While Livia was on a 5-week trip, Amir was travelling for longer continuing after Russia to Singapour and other places. I suggested to him to come say hi in Australia around end of October when I would be back there.
This time, there was no waiting time at all to take the boat back and apart from a change of tyre because it got totally flat, and a lunch stop at the same place where we had stopped on the way there, the rest of the journey was pretty smooth and we arrived at 2pm at the bus station. There was a misunderstanding on our end that the minibus driver was supposed to drop us at the train station and the Chinese at their hotel but the driver said that he was just dropping us there. A classic when travelling! Always reconfirm clearly before the start of the journey the details of the journey otherwise you might get bad surprises! 🙂
Nevertheless, we left the bus station and got to a bus / tram stop. I went to ask some guys nearby how to get to the train station (vauxhall piottsss) and they said you better walk 200 meters to the crossing then turn right and take bus 20 there. Yep, all this in Russian. With lots of gestures and invisible writing of the number 20 (tvat-set). Those helped.
And so we walked and got to the bus stop and I reconfirmed in the little shop near to it in which a grumpy lady was doing her accounting and didn’t want to be bothered but still answered briefly. We waited a bit, the bus came, we got in, took it to the terminus which was the train station. There we entered a beautiful lounge waiting room but were told that taking the train was door 3, which took us this time a long time to understand. And so we went to door 3 and sat in the waiting area for a bit. I went on some errands and finally bought a charger for my phone as I couldn’t find an adaptor for Australian plug to Russian type one. The group of the bungalow-campground was there and we chatted a bit. They were going to be in carriage 4 while we would be in carriage 8.
Then the platform was announced and we went to it and here was our train.
We showed passport and ticket to the ‘providnitsa’, the woman of the carriage who takes care of everyone on the train. There is one in each wagon.
We got to our ‘kupe’, little compartment of 4 beds. I had mine for myself, which was pretty cool, while my parents had the one near to it for themselves too until a guy came in around 10pm. The kupe were very comfortable.
This is the samovar, a very important part of the transsiberian as you can pick up endlessly hot water for tea or coffee from it.
The landscape was beautiful, forests, little villages, fields, train stations and trains. In Russia you get to see many many wagons
We went to the restaurant wagon for dinner as the ticket included some free dinner. In each night train we had, it was either rice and chicken or buckwheat with pork.
I finally had some ‘solo time’ to write down more draft blog posts and sort out photos which was great! It is awesome to have the chance to spend time with Russians, especially around a table or campfire listening to Russian songs, I loved it! But it was pretty cool for once to have that ‘solo’ time anyone needs once in a while to be by themselves and recharge batteries.
Between 10pm and 10.30pm, We had a stop at a train station called Zima during which some people went out and some on the train but still no one coming to mine. The sky went from dusk to night during that time. It is really amazing to be in summer and see the night fall so late.
First night on the transsiberian train!
Tomorrow, morning in the train then let’s discover Krasnoyarsk!