Just over a week has passed since leaving Irkutsk… and now I’m back. Briefly. Tomorrow I take a train to Neriyungri to begin the very cold cycle to Yakutsk.

But back to the last week. It seems a lot has happened. Firstly I cycled to Lake Baikal – it took five days. A bit longer than expected. The first 3 nights I camped, down to -30C and the last two… well, it was hard to pass a guesthouse without spending the night indoors!

From the shores of Lake Baikal, I checked it was safe to cross and then cycled the 6km over the ice to Olkhon Island and on the the village of Kuzhir, where I stayed a few days.

Biking Lake Baikal - Black Ice
Biking Lake Baikal - Black Ice

This whole time I have been hoping the lake would be frozen enough to continue cycling on it northwards. Alas, when I took a trip to the north of the island and could clearly see open stretches of water, I knew this was not a possibility soon.

So I have abandoned my Baikal bike ride for now. It will still be there another year (if I’ve not had enough of the cold by then). I must say, I do rather like it here…

Anyway, forgive me for this brief summary – computer access, time and internet are in limited supply for blogging. But here are some photos, which should give you some idea what it has been like.