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We were looking forward to this journey; we had spent quite enough time in Listvyanka and Irkutsk and were eager to get going. The train cabin and car layouts were the same as the last train, so we were old hands at this. This time, unfortunately, the restaurant car was maybe 12 cars away, so any journey there required planning and determination.

There was a cute little girl about two years old who made friends with me and ran up and down the hallway. We guessed by her appearance that she had some Mongolian background. She was travelling with her grandmother, presumably. Our main cabin mate who travelled most of the segment with us was Sergei, a military prosecutor, Russia's JAG. He was a nice enough fellow but kept to himself and slept a lot.

We also slept a lot. The initial excitement of the trip had worn off, the train rides were very relaxing, and the constant time zone changes confusing. We would wake up at about 9:00 am, wash up and eat, sort the luggage, look out the windows, and then take a morning nap. Then we might have lunch at about 2:00 pm, maybe make an expedition to the dining car, then read and eventually take an afternoon nap. We would have dinner at about 7:00 pm, then read, then fall asleep by 9:00 pm. We might have woken up a few nights for another hour's reading. This was the pattern of most of the male passengers on the train.

We were really starting to run out of books. I brought along three novels and Will's "Cryptonomicon" was over 900 pages, but we were nearing the end.

Eric - from London