Baikal is the biggest freshwater lake in the world bigger than the Great Lakes combined yada yada yada... yeah, it's great, but we've just rolled off a 4 day cabin fever experience and are far too tired to take it all in. While the local time is GMT+8, the bloody train has stayed on Moscow time and so we've lost another 5 hours... yawn.
Our guide, we find out pretty quickly, is called Ted or Tim or something - basically we all dislike him so much instantly we don't bother to find out what his name is. after settling in our lovely log cabin-esque accomodation (oh glory! clean toilets! electric sockets! motionless sleep!) he takes us on a 'walk through shady glades' etc.
UP A BLOODY MOUNTAIN.
IN 30 DEGREE HEAT.
We made it (barely). discovered the local nightclub (it was Armenian night; best to leave) and sampled the local cuisine (all courses arrived at different times, had my chips 2 hours after my fish) and of course enjoye dthe famed Russian hospitality (12 people? too much business, piss of please. we want to smoke and gossip instead of serve you)
inanyhoo after a close brush with possible death/definite mugging at the hands fo some drug dealing Uzbekhs in aforementioned 'nightclub' we tallyhoed off via a boat trip and banya (Russian sauna - highlight appears to be getting beaten with branches after a baking in 100 degree CELSIUS heat!) we are awaiting our train to MONGOLIA - sick of the Russkis at this stage to be honest and looking forward to starlit campfires drinking warm yaks' milk and eating horsemeat with the ger folk! yes yes we have actually paid to live with the local travellers for 3 nights! where else....