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Monday, August 01, 2011

Through this photo blog I will attempt to take you with us on one of our adventures in Siberia.  On July 12 we were taken from Tomsk to a village rehab center near the city of Yurga.  We drove for nearly 3 hours and came to the banks of the river Ob where we had to take a ferry.  The bridge you see in the far background is a railway bridge.  This ferry is the only way across the river for cars and people.  When here in the winter of 2009 we drove across on the ice.
This is the ferry landing.  We had to buy passage, but there was no obvious place to purchase it so our driver had to wait until someone else arrived.  He then got directions, left us standing there and went to get the proper ticket.
 This was a ferry idling before boarding.  We had to wait for the approaching ferry to land and unload before we were allowed to board this one.

 Approaching ferry

 Letting down its ramp

 A man jumps off with a shovel to smooth the ridge of dirt and stones that the ferry pushed up in front of the ramp when it landed in order for the vehicles to disembark

 Now we can begin loading onto the idling ferry.  As you can see the angle of the embankment and the boat ramp are somewhat acute. 

 This truck with its high undercarriage was able to board, but the next guy couldn't do it.

 Rolling in cautiously

 Mike helping

 It quickly became obvious that cars wouldn't be able to board so the ferry raised the boarding ramp a bit, revved up its engine and simply pushed its way closer to shore where there was less angle.

 Heading for the opposite shore

 Almost there

 Our driver didn't know how to get to the village rehab center and was told to "follow the direction that most of the cars go"

 so that's what we did

 and this was the road we took along the river

 The road seemed to go on forever, but we kept that vehicle in front of us in our sites.

 Here the road got a little bit better.  It was drier and not so slippery.

 That truck was 'makin' hay' and getting farther and farther away from us.

 Suddenly we veered into a hairpin turn, up into a settlement.

 O phew, there he is again.

 At the top of the hill was a fork and we had lost site of the truck that was in front of us.

 As we sat for a moment at the fork deciding which way to go this was a cute little house on our right.

 We decided to go right,

 soon came to another fork,

 and then another one.  The truck and other cars from the ferry have long since disappeared.

 Mike is hanging his camera arm out the window snapping pictures

We decided to stop and ask directionsThis is our driver trying to follow what the woman is describing to him.  Taken through the windshield you can see the mud spatter.
 This jeep belonged to the lady who tried to give us directions.

 This looks old and funky, but was a much better vehicle for the roads we were on than the car we were riding in.

The lady said she was familiar with the center and we could get there going "this way," so off we went into the forest.
 With the road growing smaller, and smaller,

  and muckier and muckier.  
When the car could no longer maintain traction we decided that continuing the way we were going would probably not be the wisest action, so...with no great ease, we turned around

and headed back to the ferry landing to try again. We had done what we had been told and followed the direction "that most of the cars were going."  It was just our bad luck that that particular group wasn't going in our direction

We are now going in the correct direction

 The road is a bit better

 for a while anyway

 We came to another fork in the road so we chose what looked to be the better way.

 We cruised along, around the corner, and.....

 a tunnel under the train tracks

 up the hill

 and back onto an open road.  It was actually good enough to go about 50 mph.

 After about 15 minutes and no signs of civilization we knew we were lost again and had to turn around.

 Back we went to the fork in the road and took the one that we had earlier rejected.

 This guy has the right idea for village transportation.

 Oops!  Another railroad tunnel.

 Maybe this one will be the right one.

And it is!  An hour and 20 minutes later after the ferry had landed, here is the rehab center at the end of the road.