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Last updated : Nov 2009
Irkustk
Pros: beautiful lake, fresh water, different culture
Cons: none

Irkustk, Listvyanka, Russia

Saturday, Jun 18, 2005 11:00


"Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty- his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically but almost with pleasure."- Aldous Huxley

It is most interesting to dive into boredom. I think that it is not in my nature to allow boredom even into my perifery. This trip has been different, or maybe something in my nature is changing. I find myself for the first time in my life content to sit for an hour and do absolutely nothing, just breath, and watch the smoke go out the hole in roof. I find it fun to just be (yah, I'm a cosmic dork.)

Granted this is still a rare thing, and I think I drive Geoff and Hilary a bit crazy with my: "Do want to play a game with me?" I have been finding playmates at most hostels, and meeting all sorts of fascinating characters. Like today I met three English guys, two of whom are biking for three years, around the world, to raise money for a non-profit. Cool dudes who were totally inspiring, and liked the dinner I cooked for all of us. Flattery goes a long way for me. I am going to write them fan mail, and their going to write me fan mail, it's a good thing.

So, we have been in Russia a little less than a week, and spent three days on lake Bikal. Cool facts about Lake Bikal: holds 1/5 of the worlds fresh water, every time you swim in it your life is extended for one year (i now have six extra years to live and feel quite happy about this, although i think the Russian beer i drank last night with Hilary and Geoff in a park with a whole throng of Russian guys, took at least one year off of that...never never drink
oxoca beer...if you do learn a few Russian swear words for the next morning, yes it is that bad! and be prepared to write long, mis-speled email's with lots of side commentary), lake Bikal is the oldest lake in the world (20-25 million years old) and will be the next ocean because it is where two plates meet, Russians like fish smoked whole but take out the eyes, it is over two kilometers deep, and the lake is vast and peaceful and this exquisite awesomeness is only interrupted by drunk Russian men with gold teeth rowing back and forth across the shore wearing speedos and trying to persuade young American women to hop on for a ride.

We stayed in a beautiful guest house in a small town called Lysvianka for three nights. It was solstice and the full moon while we were there, the sun didn't set until 11pm. The guest house had a sauna, which Hilary and I did two days in a row, Geoffie joined us on the second day. Talk about consciousness altering. I had a far out sauna experience that I will have to wait to relay to you all until the full impact of my astral travel is processed. Tomorrow we hit the last official leg of the trans-Mongolian, although now technically it could be called the trans-Siberian. It will be a 3 1/2 day trip, where I will greatly contemplate the quote above, the nature of reality, and the thong/stiletto phenomena of Siberia (it is cool here to wear pants that are see thru (well all see thru clothing is in here) and women of every age have three inch heals on at all times- it is actually a very accurate way of distinguishing foriener- practical shoes. I look wearily at these womens feet while I can actually feel their disgust at my chunky chacos- it's a foot war, and although I know I will not be taken hostage, I might be impaled on their heals of ugliness.) Well guys I think that is all for now, I sure have enjoyed writing this ramble and spelling ever fifth word wrong (Russian beer actually targets the part of your brain that spells, weird but true.)

With love from Siberia- Robin