52 32' N 102 35' E
On the horizon, you see piles of translucent rubble, glowing blue.
COUNTRY AND REGION
Welcome to Irkutskaya Oblast, a Russian state on the southern edge of the Central Siberian Plateau.
NATURE OF THE TERRAIN
You have landed on a vast expanse of snow-covered upland. In the distance is the broken and buckled surface of Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake and repository to a fifth of the world's fresh water.
About 600 metres.
The small wood-built village of Dmitriyevsky is just 25km to the southeast. Do not expect to find many sober people here.
Unless you were dressed in your winter snow-suit when you landed, freezing to death is probable.
Not necessarily Russian. This area is peopled by indigenous people of the steppe and a grasp of either Mongolian or Tungusic dialects would not go amiss.
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER
Boris Yeltsin wouldn't be seen in these parts even if you paid him.
LIKELY WEATHER CONDITIONS
Temperatures in Irkutsk can fall as low as -40 C.
REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND
Check out the local people who bore holes in the ice for fishing. To get out of the cold, make for the museums of Irkutsk. Entrepreneurial types might seek their fortune in diamond and gold mining. Or wait until the ice melts and go boating on the lake.
GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE
Dmitriyevsky is just 25km to the southeast, if you can make it through the blizzards. From there you are only about 70km from the Trans-Siberian railway. In Irkutsk you can pick up trains to Moscow or Peking.Reuse content