A sunny day in Siberia (day 137)

Day 10 without a shower. At least I don’t smell bad.

Here I am sitting outside the Post Office in Tynda, which is about half-way along the BAM, which is not saying very much. Central eastern Siberia I guess. Nothing much else but railway and trees.

Some guy seems to be filming the traffic. Not quite sure why. Looks pretty much like normal traffic to me. Maybe a few more Russian cars than usual further west (where everyone drives Japanese imports – ah how globalisation makes things just like home).

I just spent the last two days in an obshei train from Komsomolsk. It wasn’t so bad. And it was cheap.

Still another 28 hours (making 20 on the ferry, plus 15 on the train, plus 40 on the next train, plus 28 to go equals 103 hours from the east coast of Russia to the northern end of Lake Baikal) to go.

And this is on a quick train (which takes 5 days to get to Moscow – I hate to think how long a slow train might take). The slow trains stop more often you see. They are far cheaper, but generally seen as less desirable. Lots of people get on with six million bags and buckets of vegetables to sell in the towns. Real rural Russia really.

Tynda is not a place that sees a lot of foreign tourists. It is mostly big white apartment buildings, really bad city layout (and few street signs), no defined centre, and tonnes of flies. They have patches of taiga (basically forest) around town to remind you that you are in Siberia, in case you forget.

It is a nice day in Siberia today. A bit chilly at 13 degrees. But it was really cold this morning. They had their first freeze last night. In late August. A woman on the train told me they only have two weeks of summer here each year, and those have long since passed. I am glad I don’t have to live here.

Anyway, now it is time to make a phone call home. This should be fun.

My ability to plan is horrendous. I have completely underestimated the amount of time it takes to queue to get tickets, and the amount of time it takes to travel across this country (which is enormous, in case you did not get that already). Time is against me (even with those days I caught up on Sakhalin) as I hurry west.

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