It’s started hard and slow out of Irkutsk to reach Lake Baikal. But since then things have been great… it has been long days of hard ups and fun downs, of dirt trails, rocky tracks, rivers to wade through and one to packraft across, ferrying the bike and then my bags as the rain poured down.

I’ve met Russian cyclists, overlanders from Germany and spent a couple of days with only a brief conversation with a drunk Russian driver. He kept repeating numbers, but I couldn’t tell if he was talking about how many miles to go, how many bears he’d seen (I saw 2) or how many vodkas he had drunk. They were big numbers. I suspect he was talking about vodka. As he drove off in his truck, he leant out the window and waved a hand clutching a glass of clear inebriating liquid, as if to confirm my suspicions.

Well, I’ll write up the trip so far soon. For now, here are the photos (always first!)

On another note, I’ve also just received some great news – Desert Snow, the book on my ride through Africa, has made it as a finalist of the Readers’ Favorites Book Awards in the Cultural Non-Fiction section. I’ll have to wait until September to find out the winner though… either way, I don’t think I’ll be making the ceremony in Miami this November as I’ll be somewhere in Central Asia by then (hopefully)!

Explorer Mikael Strandberg recently reviewed the book too – he liked it (phew!). It’s always great to hear from people who enjoyed it. Keeps me motivated to continue writing…

Desert Snow CoverFinalist Readers Favorite Awards