September 24th, 2007 – by: coolguy
Hiding from the rain
After making it to Lake Baikal
and spending a nice night camping along its shores, the bad weather returned the next day. We managed about 30-40 km in the morning before the rain began, but once it came we did not want to continue by bike. The weather had slowed us considerably off our desired pace and it would be near impossible to reach the Mongolian border before the September 30th visa deadline. So we decided to cheat. We would take a train from Baikalsk, the small town beside the lake that we found ourselves in when the rain began again, to Ulan Ude, the next major city on the way to the border.
Zack inquired at the station about a train, and we learned that there would be one leaving the next morning.
The beds were a bit hard, but the price was right
The rain was pissing down and we didn't want to have to set up our tents outside, so we just pulled our bikes inside the train station, rolled out our slug suits, and made ourselves at home in the corner. We slept fitfully, thanks to the punk Russian kids who had no better place to hang out all night than in the train station. They enjoyed playing annoying ringtones on their phones while we tried to catch some sleep. I managed to sprawl across a bench and catch something resembling a night's rest, but I have the feeling that Zack probably slept less than an hour all night. At least he could guard our bikes.
In the morning, the staff at the station approached us and offered us hot tea, which was gratefully accepted. When we left the station, we passed the huge puddles that had developed over the past day of rain. I'm glad we chose not to camp in that downpour! We hoisted our bikes up onto the Russian trains with no trouble and "relaxed" on the hard wooden seats for the four hours it took to arrive at Ulan Ude.