Inner Circle




In 1999 when travelling independently on the Trans-Siberian railway I took the opportunity to stop off in Irkutsk. The reason - Lake Baikal, the largest body of fresh water in the world - and it was truly awesome, eating bar-b- q fresh fish on the shore etc.

The main interesting thing was meeting a former Russian soldier who persuaded me to drink lots of vodka - but not as much as him! He got drunk, passed out, and u had no way to get back to Irkutsk to get my onward train connection. So I flagged down a private car, poured the sleeping soldier into the back seat and got the driver to stop me off at my hotel - speaking no Russian and him no English!

I made it....just and the soldier was being driven back to the bus station where he now worked.

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