Well, we went to the train station to sort everything out but it took a lot longer than we planned. We were lucky that we knew the guy that was responsible for the shipping of the bikes and we were even more lucky that he was willing to communicate with us through Google Translate! He knew as much English as we knew Russian, so you could imagine our conversations…
In the end it turned out that we would have to take another train than the one the bikes could go on and that we had to leave the bikes in Irkutsk and hope that they would be on the train.
We saw the bikes being packed in a crate and kissed them goodbye and whished them a nice ride!
We walked a bit through Irkutsk and saw a lot of very good construction work on the local houses! We also walked through a small local park with some funny statue and beautiful buildings alongside.
We had to take the train at 1 o’clock at night and we had to leave the room at noon, so we had the whole day to wander around before we could go on the train. Luckily we could meet up with Phil and his girlfriend Zarina, to get a bite to eat and visit some nice bars so the day flew by! Phil is the English guy we met in the Altay a few weeks ago (the one who got stuck in the deep hole, remember?) who was riding with Felix we met again the day before. Felix and Chris (another English) went to ride further east but Phil met a girl……. And thus didn’t want to ride anymore! Talking about the power a girl has over a guy…
Waiting for the train:
The trains in Russia run like clockwork and are fairly luxurious when you think about it. We were in 3rd class and there it is normal that there are no doors to close off the sleeping compartment. You are also with 6 people in one space so you always hope that the people in the same space don’t smell too bad, do not snore like lumber jacks and that they don’t talk whole night long… We were very lucky because we had super ‘neighbours’ that made the trip very pleasant. The train was fully packed because of the holidays but it was always calm and there was never a huge traffic jam to use the toilet so that was ok. We had to be on the train for 30 hours in total, but for us it was 2 nights and only one day so there was no boredom whatsoever because Seb had downloaded a lot of games on the Iphone to keep us busy! During the evening of our trip there was one boy who was in our compartment that started to be sick and who had to throw up… He kept throwing up for at least 4 hours and it was really sad but in the end I started to get nauseous also just because of the sound, the smell and the shaking of the train… Luckily by that time the boy was to tired that he fell asleep.
Our new home for two days:
Relics from the past:
Early in the morning we arrived in Novosibirsk and we went straight away to our hostel because we were beat! This evening we are going to pick up the bikes from the train station and normally if it all works out, we will be on our way to Barnaul tomorrow!