Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Day 147 - Kabansk to Lake Baikal - Sat 20 July

Day 147 - Kabansk to Lake Baikal - Sat 20 July
A lovely morning, we let the sun glinting off the river wake us. Cows meandering by munching; glistening dragon fly, silken heads of grass, nodding thistles might be a pest but look pretty dotted in meadows. Such a peaceful place. 

Went into Kabansk for drinking water, bread and to fill tanks at water station. Fellow there said in winter gets to minus 25 degrees, and ice on lake 1.5 metres thick and can drive on it all way to Olkhon Island. Large police presence for such a small town, maybe a training facility here? Found magnificent bakery, obviously the Russian diet is designed to lay down internal insulation against severity of winter! (which we of course don't need, esp seeing we have to return more svelte for Jenni's wedding... Sigh, soooo hard!). Stopped to get drinking water in supermarket - found 1lt cans and 5lt bottles of beer to rival Darwin stubbies - taste test to come! 

Bright crowded cemeteries caught our eye. Church strategically placed in centre of town, road veering around. Stopped for a call of nature, March Flies bit BoyRob’s backside so hard, he jumped back into car without his pants on! 

That sorted, we drove on to Lake Baikal, stopped for lunch and saw couple of lovely tall water birds in wetlands at edge. Russian ladies were sharing a laugh over vodka and awful local wine which they offered to BoyRob “Can’t be inhospitable” he said…..

Drove in to several places on "beach" evaluating campsites - this one had too many people enjoying the short summer, that one too far from water, next one branches too low to get Miles through etc etc. Not sure when we became so fussy!! Drove down to shingle beach, seemed the whole town and tourists had turned out to pull in fishing net and see the catch - respectable numbers of jumping silver fish in bottom of dory too. 

Followed the spit out and found the perfect place to camp on grass on a finger of land with water both sides. Now, these are the kinds of camps we’d dreamed about…

Afternoon of rest and maintenance – did hand washing, including the smelly shoes (at least with wind blowing water into waves on one side 'twas easy to fantasize we were at the beach!) Ozzie had some maintenance done, washing windscreens, blah, blah... Miles was the only one to swim at 15 degrees (but he said his body stayed cold rest of evening…) Message from Jon and Jude to say their parts arrived/ installed and they were making a bolt for Lake, so we sent our blog notes on the border crossing. Most picnickers departed during long hours from dusk to sunset to full dark (by 11.00pm!) fireworks on foreshores, and saw shimmering stairs to moon at last.

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