After some problems with the blog here we are again!! :) The payment of the domain and host space didn't work the first time, and we try it again just after the deadline they gave us but before the blog was shut down... but they already had the order and block the blog. Hopufuly they didn't delete it :) and after some mails it is working again :) It looks like our whole trip... too much improvisation waiting at the last minute to fix things... :S :P :P
Anyway after we left Ekaterinburg with almost tears in our eyes, we were finally alone. No more translators (now writing from China, and we definitely miss one :P), no more company than Nico, Mario and me.
Mmmm... did I say "alone"? Ha!! Fortunately the train was full of nice people who were very interested in us, even if they couldn't speak english they ask us a lot of things... either through some other russians who kind of speak english, or through gestures ;-) First it was a woman neighbour of Nicolas, who spoke to us in english and german. Then, and when we took the bottle of vodka, a young guy from the Navy joined us, communicating with us through that woman and gestures... and of course driniking :P Then I met some nice russians who didn't speak english at all (well, one of them a little of french :P), but they offer us food and beer :) And mom, yes, they offer us dried fish which I ate to not be unpolite.... (arggg... seafood :S) :)
But this is not the end... We have also a nice train officer that spoke a little of english and whom one of the russians who offer us food was trying to flirt with ;-) I think she prefered me... :P Also I met some english teacher in Novorosibisk with who I had good conversations... even if, incredibly, my english was better (ok, with worse pronuntiation... :P).
But again... it never ends... The world is full of nice people. The problem is just to meet them!! We talk with some people from the train, just after arrive (so not too much time left :S). First some more neighbours of Nicolas, and then some polish people that were in the same train.
And of course... we always have Mario the flamingo to make more friends!!! Here at 6:00AM local time, just after arrive to Irkutsk, some drunk russian girls saw our flamingo and got crazy with it... Anyway they didn't speak english :( :P
Then we wanted to go to Baikal port to go to some town nearby and join the nature until Monday, when we could do the Visas... but really fortunately we met those crazy people going to the rave party... where we met more nice people. We were like the stars of the party (the only foreigners there), since most of the people wanted to talk to us (again, english or russian, it didn't mind... although this time there were more english speakers :D). Anyway Nico has already post about it in another post. Of course, people there also got crazy with Mario... they even almost destroy giving him whisky!! Anyway it was a really beautiful stay in such nice place, so much green... so much transparent and pure water... There was going the transsiberian before... not anymore. Now it goes around Baikal lake for tourists only. We visited also Litsvienka.
Then back in Irkutsk we sleep one night in Elena's place, an Hospitality Club and Couch Surfing member who host us and with we have nice conversations together with her daughter. Ahhh, also some nice shower there!! :)
On Monday finally we spend a lot of time trying to get the mongolian visa :S And thanks to Olga it wasn't more time!!! She was our translator there, as well as she opened a bank account to let us pay the visa, cause you cannot pay with cash, only through the account, and you can have an account only either if you are russian or you have registered in Irkutsk. Anyway, we got it!! And Olga picked up our passports while we were in Olkhon.
In the embassy we met some people from HC (Rodri, Mauricio, Petra, Tuula, Dana) who were doing the transsiberian also, and we convinced them to go to Olkhon with us and camp there :) And there we were after 2 hours of road and 2 hours of "road" (the driver broke the suspension at least twice...).
Anyway, and even if it was raining one of the days (and our tent flooded) and it was really windy, the views were really worthy:
Here is, as Petra says in her blog, Nico singing a blues to try to stop the rain.
And, even if it almost didn't rain that night... it was so windy we had to sleep in the tents of out new friends... and this is how our tent looked like the next morning :S
Now.... Let's hurry up!! (as always) Cuase we're leaving!!! :D