It is quite easy to spot other backpackers on the trans-Siberian. Even as out of practise as we have been through lack of opportunity these past few weeks. So while waiting for 11:15pm to roll around it is a nice surprise to see a young guy come into the waiting hall and stand beside his green pack. The ability to differentiate is possible because locals travel in one of three ways. No luggage at all or maybe an overnight bag. Even if the journey is nearly two days long. Otherwise they will be lugging one of those ungainly square rice bags, the largest size only. Or else it may be a collection of string tied boxes. Rarely a suitcase and never a backpack. So Anthony, for this was his name, really stood out. A Scot who lives in Northern Ireland as we found out in the preliminary conversation. Then our train was finally announced but we would see him again soon enough as he was booked into the same Irkutsk hostel. Yes a hostel, and we know where it is. This time was going to be easy. [read on]
Archive for the 'mighty river' Category
Krasnoyarsk is a place that makes itself very hard to like. The buildings are dour and the sky has not changed its dark gray complexion. Most likely because of the continuous smoke you can see belching from the smokestacks across the river. In the central area every lamppost has two speakers fixed onto it. I am sure that in times past these were for party slogans providing encouragement for the brave souls working hard for the destiny of the Soviet dream in such dour surroundings. Such exhortations would actually be preferable to the awful, bland jazz that now gets forced on you as you navigate the streets. All of yesterday’s slog around in search of a place to stay was sound tracked by this which only made Rdoc and I even more irritable. This was also after more incidents with pushy old ladies. They need to be culled. Three people standing at the front of the queue for the bus into town. All with packs front and back. Thus encumbered there is an obvious hesitancy when climbing up quite a high step. Instead of allowing the second it takes to gather oneself to do this two babushkas, scarf wrapped head down, bag in each hand, pushed past Arnika knocking her back. Taking this as a cue another bunch followed until the bus was full and we were still standing there. They really are a menace.
There is no way to counter either, are you supposed to push an old lady out of the way? [read on]