Left the Hostel about 10am and went to Anderson’s bike shop to take a photo and thank the staff again. I left some stuff at Elly's hostel including my rucksack and 2 of my fuel cans. I think I can do without these and I still need to lighten my load.
I had the usual trouble finding the road out of Novosibirsk and eventually settled for the road to Kemerovo. I made slow progress and decided to ride through the night to try and make up some time but I had to stop when a mist descended and made it unsafe to continue. Slept in my sleeping bag next to the bike at a disused café.
Wednesday 27 June, Day 55 - Krasnoyarsk, Eastern Siberia, Russia
Got back on the road as soon as the mist had lifted enough to ride and made good time once I got back on the main M53 road to Irkutsk.
After a good day riding I pulled of the road at a track and followed it for a couple of kilometers to a spot where I could camp not far from the trans siberian rail lines. No mosquitoes to be seen so put my ground sheet down and got my sleeping bag out intending to sleep under the stars. Within a couple of minutes I was besieged by all manner of insects including mosquitoes so decided to get my tent up. I got bitten all over while putting tent up and learnt an important lesson about camping in Siberia.It was still daylight but I thought I had probably changed time zone so switched on my mobile phone to get a time update. The time on my watch was 2 hours out as I suspected so I updated it.
Thursday 28 June, Day 56 - Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia, RussiaSlept quite well and hit the road about 8.30am and made good time over some good tarmac. Every so often the tarmac finishes and the road is gravel and crushed stone but I am starting to really enjoy riding the gravel sections stood up in third gear
I can travel faster than the trucks and most of the cars but the 4wds are faster and kick up a lot of dust and stones. I stopped for fuel and met a group of 40 French people in camper vans. They were travelling from Paris to Peking and back through Istanbul.
Arrived Irkutsk about 17:00 and managed to find the Baikaler Hostel in the centre of the city quite easily. This hostel is great with plenty of different nationalities all meeting up and sharing their experiences. I paid about 10 quid a night.
Met a German couple called Lars and Anka and went for a beer with them. We went to the Liverpool pub but the beer was warm and expensive so only stayed for one.
We moved on to another pub called Harald’s bar where they had the German v Italy football game on at 3.45am. The germans stayed to watch it but I went back to the hostel to sleep. A random Russian guy followed me for a while but I confronted him and he pushed off quick.
Friday 29 June, Day 57 - Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia, RussiaHad a lazy day using the internet trying to find out how to get from Magadan to Alaska. I met a French guy called Eric at the hostel who is a helicopter pilot. He rides a Triumph Daytona similar to my bike at home and we had a good chat about bike stuff.
A group of eight of us went for a couple of beers in the evening to a restaurant 2 mins walk away. The beer is expensive here but we only had a couple and the conversation was interesting.Later on I sat and had tea with the Chinese boy called Li who is in the next bunk and is only 18. He is cycling from Beijing to Moscow. He gave me a Chinese bank note as a souvenir and I gave him my card and wrote in his diary.
Saturday 30 June, Day 58 - Lake Baikal, Eastern Siberia, Russia
I packed up my stuff and decided to discard my plastic panniers and as much other stuff as I dared to lighten the load ready for the road to Magadan. I am hoping to buy some soft panniers when I get to Alaska.
I worked my way around the southern end of Lake Baikal and enjoyed the ride in some nice hills. I started to look for a campsite on the beach fairly early and finally spotted somewhere I thought I could get to with the bike. I followed a track which followed a stream bed under the railway and came out onto the lake beach.It was a great campsite but the trains were really noisy all night. I was cold and uncomfortable sleeping on the pebble beach and regretted throwing my warm sleeping bag and inflatable mat away. I was looking forward to a swim in the morning.