Week Seven: 9/11 – 9/16

After arriving in the dark of night, we woke up to a small village in the woods.

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We spent much of Sunday just walking around the dirt roads getting a feel for Utulik.

A snapped a video of a train near the local convenience store.

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There was one local restaurant across the road from our guesthouse.
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Despite being a small Russian road-side diner, it was actually really nice. Tasha especially liked the porridge. I fancied the borscht, a Russian soup.
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Utulik is on the shores of Lake Baikal, one of the largest, deepest, clearest, oldest freshwater lakes in the world.

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I was going for Russian mountain man but just ended up looking furry.

On Tuesday, our last full day in Utulik, we decided to take a hike into the woods.

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We walked about 100 feet into the woods and then remembered reading about the presence of tick-born encephalitis near Lake Baikal. We didn’t really know what encephalitis was, so we decide to take a second to look it up before we continued. Apparently, encephalitis can very quickly and severely leave you without much of your mental faculties. While a hike through the woods sounded nice, we didn’t have the vaccine or really have the gear to fend off ticks. We didn’t want to risk getting bitten, so we headed back to the shores of the lake.

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Tasha brought the camera this time.
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The village houses. It was a quaint, if a little run-down village. My finger made a cameo.

That evening we decided to enjoy the Banya, which is a Russian steam room experience.

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The stove heats the inner room.

There is an outer room that is also pretty warm. You then take shifts going into the steam room and “massage” each other by hitting hot tree branches on the other person’s back and front.

There is a really lovely chrysanthemum tea that is served as well. It was one of the most fun things we will probably do on the Watson. :)

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The “massaging” tree branches.
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Inside the steam room.
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One last picture of the lake.

On Wednesday, we were getting on a train to Mongolia. We headed back to the main station in Slyudyanka.

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So many railway cars.

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There wasn’t much to the town, but they did have a mineral museum! Below are videos and pictures of the museum.

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Despite being only a 10-hour drive from Slyudyanka to Ulaanbaatar, the train took 33 hours. There are several border stops that take absurdly long (like 6 hours).

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Tasha found a kitty at the Mongolia border stop.
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She really wanted to keep it. We couldn’t keep it.
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Pictures of the houses in the border village.
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A view of the street in the village.
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In Mongolia
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We made it to Ulaanbaatar!
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