Our day today is mainly a train journey. We are travelling to Ulan Ude. The railway was built in the early 1900’s to link west to east. It is 9288km in length and travels through varied geographic features of plains, mountains , dry sparsely wooded hills and wide valleys and wetlands. Here and there is an isolated farmhouse or a small villages. Hay is stacked in backyards or is still in the fields drying out.
Backyards are stacked with wood for the coming winter and vegetables in rows.Rubbish or household waste is not centralised and is scattered everywhere on the outskirts of townships.Most of the houses have brightly coloured shutters that can be closed come winter. They are made of timber unlike the brick and concrete structures of Mongolia and China. Many of the wooden houses ,as we come closer to Ulan Ude ,are made of log type construction. Most houses are tiny by Australian standards.
Level crossings have barriers that come down before the train arrives,and just in case you want to do something crazy like try to beat the train, spikes come up on either side across the road. Roads close to the track are dirt roads. This is true also in the smaller villages. Ulan Bator ,here we come.