We all overslept and were forgiven as we slowly made our ways out of the rooms, towards the coffee machine, and into our cars. Tormud and I shared a room and as he got back from breakfast, we packed up to be on our way.
The first plan was to reach the nearest mechanic. Getting directions from the lady at the counter, we followed our feeling to reach a service station, and stood outside trying to find someone to talk to.
Amidst the confusion we were immediately asked to step into a truck so that it could have enough weight to pass through a door, and were led into a room, offered coffee, tea, wifi, a toilet and a shower for lilly by the incredibly kind Sasha, whom I was talking to in Russian.
As the mechanics jumped underneath the norwegian´s car, one could only hear the word “kamikaze” emerge in the disbelief that these madmen would go to Mongolia in this car. Meanwhile, we were all making friends with the Russians, enjoying their incredible hospitality, drinking tea and coffee and helping out. It didn’t take these incredible people long before they moved onto our car, fixing a lightswitch for the LED bar so that we could switch it on from the inside. One man and I headed off and got Shashlik wraps for everyone, and we all enjoyed lunch together.
One giant man in camouflage named “Misha” gave us the advice not to camp in Russia, showing us extremely graphic pictures of a woman recently torn to pieces by a bear next to his house in the mountains. Meanwhile, Sasha and the other locals were becoming good friends with Lilly, giving us a jar of honey and watermelons in case we have a bad stomache, their phone numbers in case we get in trouble, and drinking shots of very high percentage moonshine whiskey with us to celebrate this new friendship.
These unbelievably fun and kind men would, under no circumstances accept any money, saying that “no men mad enough to do such a journey should deserve any less than this kind of hospitality” and that we as guests of Russia should be treated as such. They called me the “Russian German” after I was the first to down their whiskey, mostly, however, for the fact that I speak a little Russian. We all hugged and shook hands with these people that I thus far enjoyed the most, even if it was only for a short time. Then we went on the long road, to try and get as close to Mongolia as we can.
Having driven 450 km we finally finished our journey through fantastic Siberian roads and beautiful sunsets into Bisk, where we found a lovely hotel. Strangely enough this would also be attached to a German restaurant (apparently), for which we enjoyed the meat and beer provided to us by the kind staff.