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This time we really get up early to catch our flight. I made a little mistake the other day, so we are flying towards Sri Lanka, were we stay for the rest of the week, before going back home. Sometimes we are really unlucky :-)

 

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The final end of the trips is approaching: We bring the car to the train. An odd feeling after being on tour with it for more than 2 months. We need to take everything out of the car and I spend a good bit of time to find a shop selling a bag, so that we can bring at least a bit of our equipment back home. Flight out is already booked and we squeeze as much as possible into our bags. Still a lot of stuff needs to stay here. At least our restaurant does not close as early as the last couple of days and we spend another evening, exchanging stories with the new arrivals. The first night without car.

 

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And now the real last bit to go. No breakfast due to the mosquito invasion. An hour later we find a restaurant for lunch. Ordering without knowing the language is quite a chanllenge. Of course we do not get out to the car to use our russian dictionary. Finally the last kilometers, after more than 19000km we reach the finish line in Ulan Ude. Many teams are already and still there. It is like a big family meeting and after the photo shooting a lot of stories to be exchanged until the restaurant closes much too early.

 

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After all the travelling we start a quiet day. Mathis and Kolya leave already early heading westbound and we explore the surrounding of the hotel. Unfortunately Korbi does not want to visit the lake Baikal, so I'm not able to go swimming in Siberia as planned. At least we get a date with a russian girl, which we badly miss because we do not check the time. In the evening we start with a couple of Taxis towards city center. At least this gives us the opportunity to see the big Lenin statue before ending up in the Killfish. A bar which proofs that Russians know how to drink!

 

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The last 500km. Start as usual early morning. Roads are almost good. Mathis' shock absorber has a little problem, since his mechanic assembled it the wrong way. But with combined efforts this can be fixed in a reasonable time and the journey towards Ulan Ude continues. In the afternoon we meet a team with a completely unusual problem: Normally people have to rush to get out of countries when the visum is about to expire. These guys have to wait until midnight because their Russian visum only valid from the next day on. The border is something like a big waiting area. It takes several hour until we can continue. In the meantime it is dark and raining, so we try to find a place to spend the night and continue the last kilometers the other day. The 3rd finish line party was anyway already 3 day ago. Main roads in Russia are OK, side roads are almost unpassable in the rain, so it takes quite a while to find a place.

 

Russia is cold and rainy and full of mosquitoes.

 

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