Report 39 - 12/02/2004

Beautiful Baikal

It's not hard to feel the lumb in my throat again which were there when we left Lake Baikal. We wanted to have driven all the way over the ICE so badly, to Listvianka and Irkutsk.
We had asked different fishermen again and again about the ICE in the South and every single one of them had raised his voice: "Don't go! It's very dangerous." Also the so called ICE watch, the MCHS, which also has a rescue helicopter service and who watch the ICE very closely gave a negative advise.
Not only we informed everywhere. Nikita, our host at the gastinitsa on Olhon island also asked around and almost made us promise not to go South over the ICE. Only a few days ago a car had gone through the ICE.

The fight between hart and reason went on for a long time. Until it started snowing and we knew that the spots with new, thin ice would be covered with snow and invisable. Reason won the battle and our great voyage over the ICE would end here.
The last and maybe also the most beautiful part of our ICEride we did over here, riding from Khuzhir on Olhon island to the mainland, where we could choose between two routes.

The unpaved track through the woods had been covered with athick fresh layer of snow a few days before and was not easy to drive. We checkd if we had a spare bold to replace a damaged on, so that we could mount the two together and drive through, but we had run out of stock and we were expected to arrive in Irkutsk to visit a school with our project. And so we try to forget the anti-climax the dull 240 km long asphalted road gave us as soon as possible. The weather was as dull as the road. And the ice-cold wind and more snow did not make us feel better.

Fortunately Igor, Nadia, Lena and Natasha of Trans-Sputnik and also Pavel and Sergej were happy to see us. That was he positive side. They organised our accommodation and arranged (luxurusly) our trainride back. Pavel helped loading our bikes on the train and we were happy that the train personnel had arranged for an extra ramp for the sidecar wheel.

The trainride back seems to go much faster than when we came. It must be the 5 hours of time-difference (which we lost when we came) that we are sneaking in now. The days are thus very long, as are the nights and therefor the whole journey lasts one night less.

We are busy writing press releases and read old articles and updates again. The planning for our journey back is quite tight again and has little time for delays. So let's hope we will be able to change tires on Saturday in Moscow and let's hope it will not snow or drizzle during our ride to the west.

We will arrive in Muenchen on the I-mot on Friday 20 February (at the stand of Stern Gespann Service) and in Holland on the Motorshow in Utrecht (Jaarbeurs) on Thursday 26 February. Off course we hope to meet, for we are quite curious to hear your reactions.