Kultuk and Slyudyanka are remembered for there are no one knows anything. I spent three hours riding buses from Kultuk to Slyudyanka and back, guided by the directions of the locals, and eventually found out that a bus to Mondy simply doesn’t exist and I’ll have to hitch-hike at least part of the way.
A couple of tens of kilometers on the school bus, and I went to sleep in the autumn woods away from people.
I woke up completely frozen under a larches somewhere in Buryatia.
A sip of water from a stream instead of breakfast and I went to the bus stop. Place for some reason seemed unfriendly to hitchhikers, and buses were still running. Part of the way was made with a shuttle bus to Arshan (it’s aside from the road, but most of the traffic goes there). Looking out the bus window I could not understand for a while what was that things hanging in the air, seemingly not at all like rain. Then my brain still refused to accept the existence of the snow, as it was, of course, snow.
I lived with friends of friends (thanks to О.!) in the most famous hostel in Irkutsk, in the staff room. Don’t know why I didn’t use CS, but the hostel was fun.
In the evening we were approached by a Dutch guy and asked about the surrounding bars and nightlife in Irkutsk. I told him immediately that he was the man I was waiting for and we’ll go and have a drink immediately. And so we did.
Riding the suburban train was not pleasant. I wanted to lie down and die rather than go somewhere, however, there was no other options, so I rode up to the station “Tyomnaya Pad'”, where the train was stopped especially for me, and making a sip from the every creek on the way (fresh creek water is an excellent cure against anything), went down to CBRY. The descent exhausted me completely, and I stayed right there, in a small coastal hotel, too tired to camp.
[nocrosspost]After a frantic packing Anton brought me to the train station an hour and a half before the train. This was just enough to visit ATM and to drink cognac with Julia from a small coffee cup in front of closed train doors.
Ibid, in front of closed doors of second-class car I met two guys with backpacks with cups and trekking shoes tied. “What’s the plan?” I asked in Russian. One of them turned and said cautiously: “no russian!”. Well, I thought, interesting. Two Englishmen, going to Vladivostok, not a word in Russian, and the way will take a week in this very car.