Agnes and myself are off to asia via St. Petersburg, Moscow before catching the transmongolian and arriving in Beijing on August 27th 2006. That's as far as the exact planning is at right now. Afterwards it'll be travel in China for a few weeks, down to South Korea and then back to China and hopefully reach Tibet. From there cross into Nepal, then India and then Southeast Asia, after that ..... ?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

St. Petersburg

Tis been a pleasant few days in St. Petersburg and we'll be sorry to leave in a few hours. After only a few hours sleep, we arrived safely on LOT airlines via Warsaw - fair play, though they fed us twice. Something unusual nowadays.

Strange going from a warm irish summer to somewhere colder and cloudier, but that's how it was on Thursday. Our contact from Monkey Business was Karina, a pleasant, young Russian student who brought us to our homestay. The lady of the house, Elena, has no english, so it's been fun trying to communicate with her. At first it appeared that we had been allocated the TV room, as it was a folddown sofa, not a bed and obviously never a bedroom. We later learned that Elena is a teacher (of russian) and does this only a few months a year to supplement her income. She certainly isn't shy with the breakfast and it's been porridge every morning with lots of bread, jam and cheese.

SP first impressions:

Dilapidated, coarse pastic signs, choked traffic, ugly! Cyrillic script making us disorientated. Only normal letters "Pizza Hut"

SP second impressions:

Mustard yelloe 4 storey buildings, not unlike those in Munich, glowing in the soft July sunset.

SP third impressions:

Regal palaces and gardens set alongside the vast, but soothing Neva river and venetian canals.

Homestay -> tourist area.

Not even in Russia long enough to shout "Perestroika!" And already the mozzie threat has announced itself. Agnes's exposed feet and legs attacked mercilessly; I remain unaffected by the carnage...still. The vast Siberian steppe lie ahead, however, and I know that the sweetness of my partners blood shall not hold the complete attention of millions of these blood sucking midgets forever. I await my fate.

Last night in Dublin, first days in St. Petersburg

Well, we had a quiet last night in Dublin before our trip with Beatriz, Peter, Mal and Con. A Korean restaurant was the choice of venue for the last supper and later it was off to Grogans for lovely pints of the black stuff, outside on a balmy summer evening. Paddy joined us and John Small frantically searched for our whereabouts after leaving his phone at home - sorry about dat!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

First Post:Galway field HQ

Major planning for the asian oddessy on the terrace of John Smyth's galwegian penthouse apartment (between rain showers).