Russians, actually smiling . . .
Was it the negative impression that had been embedded in my mind for as long as I can remember, or perhaps my lack of knowledge, or any direct experience, of Russia? For whatever reason, I felt very tense going into the country. Even though I had a formal letter of introduction, and the correct visa, I was keenly aware that I was a lone traveller, and was carrying a mountain of baggage with me on the bike. I had to be mentally prepared for whatever might befall me at the hands of dodgy characters. This included bribery.
Being ready for any eventuality, including having to hand over cash, I confess to being mildly disappointed at the radiant, smiling faces of the immigration officials, and the encouragement they gave me. Surprise was followed by a sense of relief. (from "Against the Wind" - Poolbeg Press)

The photos

Russia start Serenga kids Alvina and Tora Mafia lunch Omuri shop Baikal fishermen Baikal fishermen1 Baikalsk city hall baikal Baikal house Baikal boys Irkutsk Guinness Kishimen Hokkaido milk Irkutsk market Irkutsk Japanese Road and cow 32c Victor family Bear Yura san Bus kafe Police man Krasnojarsk family Bike kids Mosquito Kaffe family The Wheel Igor Jurga Siberian summer Novosi Guinness Anton Family Muddy road Sky and plain Bus stop Kazafstan Kafe One camp site Last deposit

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