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Friday, May 24, 2013

Are We There Yet?

The next two posts are marked with the days they were written. However, no Internet connection has been available for nearly three days, so I am uploading them on Friday in Kazan. We are less than 900 kilometres from Moscow.

Wednesday, 5185 Kilometres: Today is the first long slog of this Trans-Siberian adventure and it's getting sloggier by the minute. Actually, the slog started yesterday at noon, when we boarded the train after an overnight at the Courtyard by Marriott (really) in Irkutsk. In the afternoon, there was an entertaining and educational vodka tasting, followed by rest and dinner.

Because we set clocks back two hours before bedtime, we had extra time to sleep in...to the point where when the figurative breakfast bell rang at 7:30, we were all ready to eat. We were then informed that, in addition to the two new hours gained in this time zone, we had fallen behind three hours overnight due to something or other on a bridge. I didn't really get it. But the bottom line is that our next excursion off the train... a visit to the drab Siberian capital of Novosibirsk...would be delayed from 4:00 to 7:00PM. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but as the day wore on, we got further and further behind schedule. Getting to this industrial center seemed to be becoming a pipe dream.

At 7 PM, our original departure time FROM Novosibirsk, we were informed that construction...or a derailment...or something...had caused a traffic jam on the tracks. But we would arrive in Novosibirsk..'round about 9 PM. We should be there any minute....or not.

That said, spending today, of all days, train-bound wasn't such a bad thing. For one, it's been raining all day. For two, the germs festered by Typhoid Marty, who had been hacking into the communal food since Day 1, had now reared its head in many of our throats. Third, my period came....of course. So, all in all, if 35 hours straight had to be spent on the train, this was one of the better times to do so.

After our stop tonight, our next stretch is scheduled for 21 hours. I shall write more during that time....about Novosibirsk, the Siberian Tea Party (not affiliated with the American political wingnuts), and about good housekeeping.

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