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June 30th 2012
Published: June 30th 2012
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Lake Baikal to Tuva Republic via Krasnoyarsk

Headed up to TakmakHeaded up to TakmakHeaded up to Takmak

Bobrovy Log adjacent to Stolby.
Spent a few days in Krasnoyarsk in between 2 weeks around Lake Baikal and an upcoming planned 2 weeks in the Tuva and Altai Republics. I liked Krasnoyarsk and it's perfectly situated to break up the trip between the 2 far apart regions. Last night I left on the train for the 10½ hour ride to Abakan. At the train station there is a beater bus leaving for Kyzyl at 7:50 am for 600p. and arriving at 4:00 pm. It was sold out so I waited for the much more expensive and faster share taxi to leave at 8:20 am. The driver first asked for 1500p. but since I was able to ask the correct price from fellow passengers I paid 1200p. Comfortable ride but the scenery was somewhat obscured by the smoke from the nearby forest fires which looked like they would be raging for a while. On the border crossing from Khakassia Republic into Tuva there was a police checkpoint where my passport and visa details were entered into a log book that no one will ever see after today. The officers were curious about me and weren't at all bothered by the fact that I had yet to register my visa going on my 4th week in Russia. Visa registration was quickly handled today by the hotel at no charge. Our taxi arrived in Kyzyl at 1:20 pm and after dropping off the other 5 passengers I was taken to the Hotel Mongulek. It is skanky and not cheap so with any luck I'll be out of here tomorrow on another share taxi to Mugur-Aksy from where I'll cadge a lift to Kosh-Agach in the Altai Republic or hire a horse and handler for the final stretch.

$US ≈ 33p. (Russian rubles)

Accommodation and food Stayed 3 nights at newly renovated Titmouse Hostel right in the center of Krasnoyarsk. 450p. for a dorm bed, free WiFi and laundry. Numerous canteens all over town but I regularly ate at съем слона (sem slona, or "eat an elephant") primarily because they had a coffee machine where a black coffee was a meager 14p. Good, inexpensive food, too. For dirt cheap cakes and pastries there is a kiosk in the pedestrian underpass on Karl Marx Street near the Lenin monument. Needless to say, don't expect any ambiance.

Transport Arrived from Severobaikalsk on a 26½ hour train ride in platzkart which was fine and quite mellow albeit really long. Left on a much shorter overnight train ride due south to Abakan from where I wasted little time catching a share taxi to the unredeeming Tuvan Republic capital of Kyzyl. Getting around Krasnoyarsk by foot is easy in the central grid but there are buses for 13p. including several between the hostel and train station as well as between the hostel and the Divnogorsk marshrutkiy.

Дивногорск (Divnogorsk) I took a ride out to Divnogorsk to take a look at the massive damn. I had hoped that there would be a boat being transported across the damn by a train but that day there was no boat. 46p. marshrut ride (route 106) from Площадь Предмостная (Ploshad Predmostnaya) to Divnogorsk then a long, sweaty 5 km from town to the dam (ГЭС, or "GES," acronym for hydroelectic station). Fortunately caught a ride back from the damn to just outside of Krasnoyarsk where I caught a bus straight to the stolovaya.

Бобровый Лог (Beaver Valley) Beautiful ski resort on the edge of Столбы (Stolby, or Pillars) National Park. The park was actually closed because of recent forest fires but that did not stop me from trying to climb to the top of one pillar called Такмак after slogging up the snow free ski slope under the blazing Siberian summer sun. The route to the top of the pillar was quite steep and definitely a technical rock climb so I gave the last bit a pass especially since I was wearing sandals. There is a nice mountain bike track (single lift ride 200p.), an expensive, Russkiy glitterati filled pool, rock climbing wall, and Родельбан (Rodelbahn). Rodelbahn is a German word meaning toboggan run that the Russians have adopted to describe their quasi-alpine single car roller coaster which was really cool. It is 3.4 km from top to bottom and worth the pricey 400p. for a single run. Take bus 37 from the opera house bus stop directly to the park.

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Takmak in the DistanceTakmak in the Distance
Takmak in the Distance

End of the mountain bike trail and mega-jump constructions site.
Red Squirrel Near TakmakRed Squirrel Near Takmak
Red Squirrel Near Takmak

Белка, or "byelka"
Lenin MonumentLenin Monument
Lenin Monument

The only one of many that I've seen without his outstretched, pointing hand. However, like all Lenin monuments it is very tall.

Dinvogorsk hydroelectric station. Can just make out the train tracks (center right) that are used hauls large ships over the dam.

30th June 2012

Are you Sure?
Looks like High Box!
15th July 2012

Hey Lonny, Yeah, Highbox with no snow and tons of mosquitoes. Enjoy WA summer!

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