leaving the hunting lodge


Before we departed the hunting lodge I wanted to get some photos of Dalaihan’s family and in-laws.  In the evening before our last day and on the morning that we departed, I shot these photos.  The family was so warm and welcoming; they really made me feel at home.  I would highly recommend an eagle hunt to anyone who is visiting Mongolia in the winter time.  Pictured above are Dalaihan’s nephews Jargal and Jankhai, their aunt, and their mother Khashy.  In the photo below, my guide Baatar, our driver Khavlet, and the same boys in the top photo.


Here is another shot of Jargal & Jankhai:

I also took a shot of the solar power panel that provided us with light each evening.  It was amazing that a little 14” panel could charge a 12 volt car battery and provide light all night long.


One of my favorite photo subjects on this trip was Dalaihan and his eagle.  The bird was massive and majestic and I could stare at it for hours.


Seperator


Stories, posts, reports, photos, videos and all other content on this site is copyright protected © and is the property of Scott Traveler unless otherwise indicated, all rights reserved. Content on this site may not be reproduced without permission from Scott Traveler. My contact information can be found on the home page.

Back to home page: http://scotttraveler.com

arrived in Tomsk

DSC06255

Arrived in Tomsk early on a Saturday morning.  There was a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and the town was not yet awake.  I decided to walk the mile from the train station to hotel so that I could see the town, take some photos, and get some excercise.  Haven’t been to the gym in weeks and I thought a rucksack march would be some good excercise.  Lugging the heavy load in the cold air did bring back some Army memories.

I walked through town and watched as the smoke began to drift out of fireplace stacks and some business owners began to shovel snow off of their sidewalks.  The streetcars and busses were running and some people who had to work queued up for their ride.  I tried to take a self-photo but all of the windows were double-paned and the glass didn’t reflect well.  I did get a passerby to take my photo as I departed Tomsk a week later (above).

DSC05912

DSC05927

DSC05957

DSC05934

DSC05937

The main street in town is Ulitsa Lenin (Lenin Street) of course; it seems that every main street in every Russian city is named Lenin.  I found a decent cafe on Lenin that had good internet that would allow me to post a bit to this blog and keep in touch with friends and family.  After so much travel, I decided to stay in Tomsk for a few extra days and while seeing the sights and doing some relaxing at the same time.  With the cold weather, going outside for more than a few hours gets a bit much so I think I’ll alternate touring and sipping coffee or tea in the cafes while checking the internet.

DSC05959

DSC06248

The hotel  Sputnik was nice enough, once you get used to the cigarette smell.  Cigarettes are everywhere in Russia.  No smoking signs are often ignored and smoking areas are often in the next room or on the same floor with many smoking in the hallway.  After a while you get used to it, but often, in the morning, I wake up with a heavy feeling in the lungs.  How you smokers do it, I’ll never know.

DSC05950

I have noticed some differences in conversation mannerisms between Americans and Russians.  Americans smile at everyone; Russians think you are retarded if you are always smiling.  No seriously, they think you’re handicapped.  Another difference that I noticed is that Russians are less likely to chat with strangers than Americans.  Perhaps this is from 90 years of Communist repression and hundreds of years of Czarist repression before that.  The surest way to NOT get picked up by the secret police was to talk to no one.  So, after a long day on the town, I come back to my hotel.  As the receptionist is fishing out my key, I decide to end the long heavy silence that has been hanging over me since I walked in.  Trying to be chatty, I say, “It sure is cold outside tonight.”  The receptionist looked at me, and then said, as though I were really retarded, “Of course.  This is Siberia.”


Seperator


Stories, posts, reports, photos, videos and all other content on this site is copyright protected © and is the property of Scott Traveler unless otherwise indicated, all rights reserved. Content on this site may not be reproduced without permission from Scott Traveler. My contact information can be found on the home page.

Back to home page: http://scotttraveler.com

train to Rostov-on-Don

DSC04544

What can I say about this ride besides the fact that it was LONG.  It was a 30 hour train ride.  I boarded at 1500 and didn’t get off until the following evening at about nine or ten p.m.  Fortunately, the Ukrainian girl in my compartment spoke excellent English and we were able to talk throughout the trip.

DSC04579

It was a good ride and I was able to see much of the Ukrainian countryside.  The police and customs agents were much friendlier than my last visit.  A drug dog came through the train at the border but he didn’t seem to find anything on our train.  The train attendant served coffee or tea whenever we wanted it and it was included in the price of the ticket; it was nice not to have to dig for change for every cup of coffee.

DSC04560

The train had many stops along the route.  At each little station the locals came out to sell their products, fruit and vegetables, beer and soda, bread, and even ready-made lunches.  I purchased a lunch from one woman; it included 3 meat patties, bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes.  It was quite good and cost me about $4.

DSC04577

 A little boy from the next compartment came by every few hours and kept us entertained throughout the ride.  I’m (again) growing accustomed to the cigarette smoke; all of the smoking passengers smoke in the walk-space between the train cars.  The small room fills full of smoke and as soon as they return to the passenger car, the smoke pours into the sitting/sleeping area.  My eyes are a bit red and the lungs feel heavy; it makes you wonder what smoking does to the lungs of people who kill two packs a day?

DSC04546

At some point we passed over the Dnieper River.  I scrambled to get my camera to take a photo.  It wasn’t until  the next train ride that I realized that the best photos could be taken from the open window in the bathroom.

DSC04567

Of course, that entailed having to actually visit the bathroom.  And whatever the photo does, it doesn’t capture the smell:

DSC04566


Seperator


Stories, posts, reports, photos, videos and all other content on this site is copyright protected © and is the property of Scott Traveler unless otherwise indicated, all rights reserved. Content on this site may not be reproduced without permission from Scott Traveler. My contact information can be found on the home page.

Back to home page: http://scotttraveler.com