So, after spending a good couple of days catching up on my blogging in Irkutsk, once again it was time to head off into the unknown. As I left my Russian home stay, I wondered what the next episode in my adventure would be…
On ariving at the station I had no clue where to go for my train to Mongolia, so I thought,as you would, to ask one of the staff. I went up to one counter and showed my ticket to the rather grumpy looking lady there, and she just scowled at me and waved me on. Thanks, I thought!
I did find two guards who were a little more help than this, despite them not being able to speak English they at least tried to help me. One even used his phone using Google translate and I managed to establish that I needed to wait at a gate for my train. I found a huge metal gate where a couple of people were standing, so decided to wait here, it looked the most promising anyhow. A few more gathered so it was looking more like it was my train. The gates opened and everyone rushed through, heading for the platform. I followed and made my way through the station, and headed towards carriage number 8, I knew this much from my ticket. I stood there a couple of minutes, and then asked a couple there, well when I say asked, I mean showed them my ticket, pointed at the train, as if asking if this was the right train, they seemed to agree it was, so I decided to wait there. Then, it suddenly dawned on me, I had my small bag, but not my big rucksack, OH MY GOD MY BAG! I’VE LEFT MY BAG! Realising I had left my bag I took flight and literally sprinted back towards the gate where I had been standing, in my head thinking, that’s it, that’s my bag gone, what am I going to do?!
To my surprise and absolute relief, there it was, still stood there, waiting patiently for me to return to collect it! I seriously didn’t think I’d see it there, and my heart was in my mouth! Panic over.
Luckily after this minor bit of drama, the train was indeed the correct one, and I boarded. As I was sorting my cabin out, I saw Hans walk by, an American I’d met on the minibus on the way back from Olkhon Island. In my cabin was a young Mongolian girl called Oyuko, then a couple of Irish guys turned up who were also in the cabin, Dermot and JP. They were on their way to a wedding in Fiji, and decided to make the trip via Tran Siberian, what an awesome way to do it!
We had quite a laugh over the next couple of days along with Hans who joined us, a few beers and a few games of shithead passed the time quite nicely. Also, due to this being the train that crossed the border, we had a good five hours in a little village in Russia, where we took a walk up the hill and took a few pics.
A Russian cemetery where all the gravestones have photos on them
The one carriage going to Mongolia
Ah look it’s the little people!
JP’s look of determination as he doesn’t want to be shithead for the tenth time!
The scenery had also started to change from pine trees to more open land, rolling countryside, lakes with mountainous backdrops.
The scruffy dog selection
And a street cow too!