Four Go West.

The Mercedes garage in Irkutsk (52.326500°N 104.239560°E) fixed Imp's engine in a couple of days for about $500USA, and so far, about 1500km later, it is still OK. Peter insists it sounds like a sewing machine! (However Peter is now having some problems with his brakes.)

Mog on the shore of Lake Baikal.After our visit to Listvyanka we returned to Irkutsk (collected Imp from the garage) and headed north east to visit the island of Olkhon on Lake Baikal. However when we reached the ferry terminal we discovered that the ferry was small and slow and that local traffic had priority. This meant that it might take the best part of the day to get our four large vehicles across to the island and another day to get them back. So we opted to camp on the lake shore instead.

After a relaxing day by the lake we started our journey west through Siberia. The road from Irkutsk to Krasnoyarsk (a distance of about 1000km) has taken us three days of hard driving. Although the road is marked as the "M53" and is the major east-west road it remains un-surfaced for long stretches, and even some of the parts that are tarmac are in very poor condition.

We seem to average one or two police checks each day. So far only one check point has taken an interest in the fact that we not are registering frequently. (As we understand it, with a business visa, you must register once within 72 hours of entering Russia and then again if you spend three days in any one place. We registered in Ulan-Ude when we re-entered Russia from Mongolia and have not stayed in any one place more than two nights since.)

We are currently parked in a disused quarry beside the the road between Krasnoyarsk and Abakan heading south for a "Cultural Tour" of the area around Abakan, Kyzil and Sagonar.

Stephen Stewart.

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