The new plan

After an almost wholly unsuccessful yet surprisingly enjoyable 4-day camping excursion, it's nearly time to leave Irkutsk. (Our progress was hampered by 100km of dirt track, one high mountain pass, 36 hours of rain, 5 degree nights, one thunderstorm, one lost camp stove part, one broken chain and one giant stray dog.) Tomorrow Nathan, Sally and I begin our ride towards the Mongolian border! We have 9 days to cross 700km, skirting the world's deepest lake and climbing up on to the Mongolian plateau where it apparently drops down to -10 degrees at night. Fun stuff. Nathan's a late joiner to the Russia Crossing team and claims to be completely out of shape - and Sally's an English girl I met by chance here in Irkutsk who's cycled solo from England to St. Petersburg, is a licensed bike mechanic and one-time professional chef. New team, new country, and new season - things are looking up. -z