Day 19 - Tue 17 May 05, Trans-Mongolian train, Russia
Awake at 7:30, and wanting a pee - the toilet at the end of the carriage is locked, but we are at a station, so David and I head out to try and find some facilities. The official ones seem to be locked as well, but we ask a lady, and she showed us one in the waiting room. Phew!
On our return we take a closer look at our situation - we are a single carriage sitting at a platform with no engine, waiting for Mongolian customs to open at 9am!
Well, it turns out that going to the un-official toilet early was a good idea, the official one costs 100 togrags. Got through Mongolian customs and immigration with no issues, although it did take some time. Russian customs and immigration had no issues with us either. We had a Chinese dried noodle meal while crossing no-mans land, it was a red one - very nice!
We're now on the Russian side, just one carriage, waiting for the rest of the Russian train to be coupled up to us. While waiting Guy and I found a local market and got some Bread, Cheese, Chocolate, Bananas, Tomatoes and Water - all the basic food groups, and all for 129 Roubles!
Some of the other passengers are getting restless, and want to be on the move, but we're okay at the moment.
Guy and David then took a trip to the market, and got some local Honey, which we traded later with Will and Lucinda for some red wine!
It took 12 hours to cross the border.
We stopped at Ulan Ude at about 22:00 and got of the train for a walk up the platform, had a good poke around the station, and got two cans of Pepsi (no Coke) for the equivalent of 50p.