Day 31 Ondagay to Tashanta

17 August 2010

High point: Where to begin? Seriously, come visit Siberia. It’s simply stunning.

Low Point: I was hungry for about 7 minutes, but fortunately we were moments from the best supermarket we’ve stumbled across. It sold everything, and we just about emptied it.

No Point: category empty. Today was only full of point.

Russian word of the day: kahg-dah vahsh dyen’ rahzh dyeh nee yah. When’s your birthday?

Author’s comments: Today’s drive from our campsite just outside Onguday to our next campsite near the Russian- Mongolian border town of Tashanta was staggering. The day started with a visit from the local nomad horseman. He’d also paid us a visit the previous evening, and similarly, he chatted a bit although we understood next to nothing, in fact the only English he knew was ‘Chelsea’ sadly. Brilliant fella, but plain bonkers.

Then the drive. Cracking roads, stunning mountain views that continued for so many kilometres, accompanied firstly by the beautiful bluey-green Katun River, then the Chuya River as we headed further east. All of which was enjoyed under azure skies interspersed with wonderfully photogenic cloud formations. Our senses, especially our eyes were in for a treat today. I, for sure have not seen vistas like that. We all had perma-grins on our faces for this, our final day in Russia, subject to tomorrow’s fun and games at the border.

The plan had been for a bit of white water rafting, but as we stopped at every opportunity to absorb the surroundings, take a heap of snaps (over 400 we reckon) and give Martha a few chances to flaunt her stuff in the magical environment, rafting time was lost. No problem. We were, however, constantly on the look out for monsters to assuage Ross’ bedtime fears.

Some of us attempted a swim in the river, however it was absolutely freezing and flowing significantly quicker than initially expected. So a quick dip instead, while the more sensible ones watched smugly from the comfort of the river bank.

We had tentatively arranged to set camp with a group of four other travellers who we’d met earlier in the day. However by the time we arrived at the chosen location, the temperature had plummeted. Tents were erected in record time, whilst dinner was also hurriedly prepared. We were also given a masterclass in how to swing an ax and start a fire. Finally, we all gazed into the night sky to marvel at the moon-set and star constellations you’d never see back in blighty. What a wonderful, albiet freezing close to an incredible day.

Siberia, like Roy Castle, ROCKS!

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One Response to “Day 31 Ondagay to Tashanta”

  1. What amazing photos boys, well done