Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The River Irkut

River Irkut

Day 3rd in Siberia, 31st May 2019

Its 0330 hours and I am awake, and get ready for the trip to River Irkut, when I do finally meet Dina, I am surprised to find Dina already had prepared breakfast and was ready to get going, call time was 0400 hours we wanted to be out of the door, today we were going to visit River Irkut, 50 km from the Irkutsk town, when travelling with a knowledgeable guide what differentiates the great ones from good one is to more about where to Photograph from, the locations that will help create great images that’s so important to help one be  able to create memorable images and that’s Dina’s specialty. A lady who handles her life multitasking is indeed commendable.

Dina hands me a ton of stuff to carry, and I am too sleepy to question, so I quietly grab all that’s given to me, and head down, today was supposed to be a very hot day, 25 degrees, approx. So I am wearing 2 layers of clothes less then what I normally would, well in the car and off to Village of Moti, we reach and we exit from the car, I am freezing, its 7 degrees outside, feels a lot cooler, maybe it’s the river that’s encouraging the wind to make me a icicle, what was I thinking, Dina grabbed a sleeping bag and wrapped it around me to try and keep warm, anyway, I only had myself to blame, and soon was caught up in the moment making images to bother about the cold, was happy if I could keep from shaking my camera and was in the moment, creating some amazing Images Dina’s sharpness in spotting points where we should be making images from is marvelous,  and  I was mesmerized with the images that we managed to create,   


we spend a good 75 minutes or so , photographing the sunrise, the trees, the river, splashes in the lake, and all that I could think of , and then off to another village, the roads reminded me of Darjeeling in India, and the pine trees and twisty roads brought be back home as we drove to a hanging bridge, very similar to he one we had photographed  while I was in Lamahata in August of 2019, Link

Some of the bags I had helped carry down, now were open and I realized it contained food, Bless Dina she had realized we wont have time to find a cafĂ©, so she had prepared breakfast, now that’s real thoughtful of her,

Yummy YUmmy 

We had breakfast, comprising of Bread, Sausage, Quail eggs, Greens, herbal tea, and cheese (yes I skipped cheese) we were warm soon, and off across the bridge to my first Village life experience in Siberia, what an amazing place, so lovely set in nature it was like visiting a Indian village but with wooden houses instead of Mud houses, we came across friendly horses
The most friendly filly

 that wanted to play with us, cats that wanted to walk with us, and such lovely moments as we walked and took some images and like yesterday ‘s sighting we had seen motorbikes in Museum, 

Bike with Side car, Vintage Russia

well today we were seeing those bikes in nature, and people actually using them, was lovely sight, we managed to get some more interesting village life shots and then we relaxed on a bench on the village of “samanka” 

Bridge to Samanka the village 

with grass and yellow flowers all around, it was 1100 hours before we started back, and the walk and car ride back, we were back in Irkutsk city by 1430 hours to find No water in the house, darn, I was actually looking forward to a warm bath, anyway we did what we Indians do when we are upset,  we went out to a nearby Indian restraint “hotel Ganga”  where the logo was Ganesh Ji, and yes it serves liquor and is vegetarian, but also the entire menu and staff is Russian, so If you are a Indians you are again stuck to looking at pictures ant trying to make out what the food is, The taste is catered to the people of the NON spicy nature, the foods are all bland and tasteless, but palatable, the masala chai was not too bad though, we had Palak and Nan, we were hungry and hogged like wolves,  2 nan each and we actually managed to polish off the food, Mahesh is the name of the guy who runs the Hotel, 
Tram for hire

Once again we start back,  finally we are back home at 1600 hours, I could so do with a good sleep for a few hours what with having slept only 4 hours last night.

 #siberiaindia #Siberia #irkutsk #travelindia #travelSiberia #rajatghosh #travelwithrajat #adventuretravel #exoticvacation #lovetravel  #amazingindia #amazingsiberia #huwaip20, #Amazingdina #phonephotography #samsungA50 #dinatravelguide #djiOsmoPocket #dobroeutra
#riverangara #angara #riverangaraSiberia #transsiberianRailways

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The town of Irkutsk

 30th may it is,  

For display purpose only

After the hectic schedule of yesterday we had a slow start to the day, woke up at 0700 & had a round of yoga, a short one that helped open up the back, it was 1000 by the time we were done with Yoga, & then it was breakfast and figuring out what we wanted to do for the day, one of my camera lens has conked out, am not sure if I want to get it repaired, is it worth the cost or should I get a new one, Hmmm, 
Plug points and shape

Also a reminder to those travelling to Siberia, this is the Socket thats in use in Siberia, 2 pin, electrical so be ware and get plugs that work accordingly.

Anyway we walked around the city, felt good to be on the foot, n moving the body, Walking along the road did come arose tanks and rockets from olden times war memory, that I had to pose against a few tanks to remind myself that tanks are best used as props and not for actual use on people and, hope no war happens, and global peace is more of what I would like to see happen for ever and ever, 

Tanks in Park

 I also managed to exchanged money, do remember if you are like me, be careful old bank bills are often not accepted by Banks so be aware that you get crisp  new bank notes are what you should accept, we also  visited market where I came across Shoes, like I had never seen before, am tempted to buy one, but cost of RU 25000 for a pair and not being abel to use them chiefly was a reason I passed on buying these beauties

Shoes to be used at -40 degrees 

Met Mr Lenin

 , ate sushi which was more of non sushi, but just regular continental food ( I am in Serbia what was I expecting ? ) 
The meals on offer at Sushi joint

 then we walked some more, and came to a Motorcycle museum, or so I thought, 

This motorbike is being reinstated in India as of 2019

Another Russian beauty

we bought Tickets Ru300/person, slightly steep, but it is a private museum, and spend 2 hours getting a taste of the Siberian Life and Russian life from Yesteryears, Dina made some lovely portraits of me, in a Siberian coat
Yup thats me in Siberia, and I want this coat 

 yes it was a part of the museum collection, which they let us use , the bike museum was a  interesting place we go to see how the olden times were, n how the houses were along with all old appliances and hand worked gizmos were,  quiet a few Jawa motorbikes and look alike motorbikes were preserved ,  before we were back home to relax, and have some food n then set off again at 2100 hours for sunset images,  yes today Photographed  the sunset and the bridge on the river Angara with some long and slow exposure, the fabulous Siberian sky
River Angara

Yes you read it right sunsets around 2100 hours and rises 0450 hour.  Tomorrow we will go to river Irkut and do sunrise images, time to hit the bed right away its 2315 hours anyway, am just ready to crash right now.

 #Siberia India #Siberia #travel Siberia #travel India #rajatghosh #travelwithrajat #adventuretravel #exoticvacation #lovetravel #river #riverAngara #amazingindia #amazingsiberia #huwaip20 #Amazingdina #phonephotography #photographyworkshop


Monday, June 3, 2019

Siberia and Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal, Sunrise

29th May it is, I had made a new friend in Constantine the previous day as we started out from Bangkok, he is from Ulan – use, we exchanged numbers, maybe I will look him up while in Ulan ude if all goes well in a few days time, he would be in Ulan-Ude for a month, he is in Travel industry in Phuket and for a Russian he was speaking good English.

I reach Siberia, I am at Irkutsk, we had a 7 hour flight, folks around me they are very serious mostly, and almost no one speaks English, it is hard to be one who is not understood and I could make out people around me, no one really understand what I was asking? Off the plane all run to the immigrations, like we do in India, Life in cold part of the world is very different, I was also very different looking compared to them, I caught many a kid looking at me curiously, but kids being kids would soon either lose interest in me, or would be interacting and engaging with me as we joked together or smiled and played games with our eyes and smiles alone and making faces towards the other, mothers were quiet involved with there kids, n fathers seemed to be not around, or just sitting back, let the mother deal with the kids, very Indian thing to so, Russians are quiet like us

Right from the Immigration offices, who just saw my passport and gave me the immigration form which I just had to sign and I did not have to fill no form, as it was all in Russian, Immigration was real quick, and I was on my way out of there in 10 minutes, baggage control was equally quick, n the airport has only one baggage carousel, bags were in there in another 10 minutes time, and I was on my way out of there, in no time, soon I was in city of Irkutsk, Dina, my dear Dina was there to receive me, a quick round of introduction & we were on our way out of the place n into her car, temperature was 5 degree we headed out to her house & 5 km later I was at her house, We wanted to go to Lake Baikal as soon as I could, so she let me put my luggage in her house of now, I  had to pick up my suitcase 23 kg in all, n climb 3 flights of steps to third floor house, no lift,  Yes it was tough , welcome to touch Siberia I thought to myself, I nearly died as I climbed up, we sat around the kitchen had coffee and spoke to the other, time was approx. 0100 hours,

 We packed a bunch of food that she had cooked fish and vegetables, (what an amazing Tour guide is she) and coffee n we were on our way by 0230 hours to lake Baikal, as we drove, I realized the temperature was -1degrees, Burrr, it was going to be cold, & thanks to an extra pair of jacket from Dina, I was warm as we stepped out of the car, we took a short trek to sunrise point, that only a local could have been aware of, and we were in time to watch an amazing sunrise at lake Baikal, my First sunrise at the lake, 4 hours into the country and I was already at a amazing Photo opportunity location, Love the enthusiasm of Dina and her passion for Photography, I too use to be this mad for images and am glad she is around to infuse n enthuse me for the shoot too.

Sunrise at lake Baikal

I was not sure why we were headed out so early, but as we reached Baikal, the sunrise happened, it must be like 0330 hours, never had I seen sunrise so early in the morning, it was a amazing site to see the red sky by the deepest lake in the world, and was a mesmerizing sight to see the sunrise, because of the clouds it was a more of a dramatic sunrise and my first casualty of the trip, I realized one of my camera had already conked off, the 70 – 300 mm lens is just moving but not functioning so I am down to just a single lens an 16- 40mm lens is all that I have with me, unless I can find a place to fix the 70- 300 
Mobile Phone Photography

It is to be noticed there  is something about Photographing certain scenes with a mobile phone camera and it does some times give it a very different charm and beauty, to the scene, Dian has A HUWAI P20 PRO, AND OFTEN GETS SOME AMAZING ANGLES AND PHOTOS FROM HER CAMERA ON the Phone,

Breakfast done we started back for home, and was back at the hotel/service apartment I had rented by 1100 hours, I was so sleepy, I just jumped into bed, and slept for a good 5 hours, woke up at 1430 hours after a good sleep and already am so fresh, am getting used to the cold life of Siberia. Evening plan is to visit River Angara, and the city of Irkutsk, to see the Trans Siberian Railway, all within 24 hours of being here.

River Angara

 #siberiaindia #Siberia #irkutsk #travelindia #rajatghosh #travelwithrajat #adventuretravel #exoticvacation #lovetravel  #amazingindia #amazingsiberia #huwaip20, #Amazingdina #phonephotography #samsungA50 #dinatravelguide #djiOsmoPocket #dobroeutra
#riverangara #angara #riverangaraSiberia #transsiberianRailways