Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Day 46 Wednesday August 13th. Severobaikalsk norther Russia

Very subdued and hungover start to the day. Paul got up for breakfast then went straight back to bed to try and catch up on lost sleep. Dave never even surfaced for breakfast which tells you he must have been feeling rough.

Breakfast was the omelette with the two pink sausages. Nobody seemed to be eating the sausages so perhaps they will get the message that they are not popular.

We were waiting to hear back from Denis Panferov about whether we had a problem with the train steward, but in the end had to call him at about 9:00am Moscow time. He hadn't picked up his texts and so wasn't aware of our concerns. He replied very shortly indicating there would not be a problem with the train steward. We then contacted the steward who agreed to meet us on the station platform on Saturday lunchtime.

During the day we sat on the veranda in the sunshine listening to music and waiting to hear back from the motorbike club mechanics who had taken away Dave's shock absorber.

Sure enough at about 4 pm they turned up with the shock absorber duly repaired. We asked what they had done and they said they had opened up the shock absorber seen that the seal was damaged, replaced it with a russian seal, replaced the oil, and then gassed and pressurised up the shock absorber. When we looked at the unit they would have had to take off the gas valve and re-weld it back when the unit was rebuilt. Clearly they were capable, skilled and resourceful people. They would not accept any money from us for their efforts and so we gave the mechanic an Isle of Man TT tee-shirt, 40 cigarettes and one of Franks Seconda watches as a way of expressing our thanks.

We now had a working shock absorber, but given that something had caused the seal to fail in the first place we were very conscious that it might fail again and rather than set off straight away decided to wait for the second shock absorber that was on its way from Moscow to arrive and to carry that one as a standby spare.

Geoff noticed that his top pannier was bending the plate we had added in Mongolia for extra strength, and so decided to go into town and buy a cheap hold all bag that he can just strap onto his bike if the top box eventually gives way breaks it's holding bracket and has to be abandoned. During this shopping trip he seems to have lost his warm jersey/fleece, and so will call back tomorrow to see if he left it at one of the shops he visited. If not he will have to buy another because it was his only "warm" outfit, and has proved to be essential when up in the mountains!

Now that we seem to have resolved the bike problems we decided to relax and be tourists and have a days fishing trip on Lake Baikal. We have arranged through the woman who runs the hostel to go out on a boat trip fishing with a chap called Alex on Friday. She assures us the last tourists he took out came back with fish 2-3 feet long!!

No photos today, but confident that on Friday there will be photos of monster fish!!

More later

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